Apple Reveals Hundreds Of New Emojis Inclusive Of Interracial Families, The LGBTQ Community And Those With Disabilities
"Emojis are the language we use," said one advocate.
November 01, 2019 at 1:10 am
Apple unveiled dozens of emojis aimed at providing a more inclusive experience for users.
CNN reports the emojis are a part of the iOS 13.2 software update. The new additions include gender-neutral people, interracial couples, people in wheelchairs and a seeing-eye dog.
Apple began working on the emojis in March 2018, when they requested disability-friendly emojis from the Unicode Consortium. The tech giant also sought input from people with disabilities.
"Currently, emoji provide a wide range of options, but may not represent the experiences of those with disabilities," Apple wrote in its proposal. "Diversifying the options available helps fill a significant gap and provides a more inclusive experience for all."
Apple previewed the new emojis in July as part of World Emoji Day, and they were available to beta testers earlier this month, according to Emojipedia. A total of 398 emojis were introduced or updated. The gender-neutral characters made up 255 of the changes.
LGBTQ advocates praised Apple for thinking of non-binary people.
"Emojis are the language we use," Melanie Willingham-Jaggers, the deputy executive director for GLSEN, told Business Insider. "To have queer and non-binary folk represented in emojis, that's especially important for young people. They're able to grow up with this language."
"I'm glad to see more people feeling represented by the options on their emoji keyboard, as not everyone feels they fit into a binary gender world," said emoji historian and Emojipedia founder Jeremy Burge. "This is also huge win for consistency as people are no longer required to choose which gender of facepalm or shrug they want to use."
Burge estimates the update will reach Android and other systems during the first half of 2020.