Apple’s Diverse Emojis

Melody Ra, Editor In Chief

Emoji lovers, the time has come to embrace diversity. The upcoming version of Apple’s iOS 8.3 will include novel characters. Yet, these are not the same characters; instead, they are different “colors” of the same characters to indicate the various races. No longer will one be constrained to the same pale characters, for there exist six different skin tones to choose from. Boys, girls, and holiday characters (including Santa Claus) will each have the option of altering their skin tones. Not only will characters have different colorations, but character body parts will also have “diverse” colors.

What prompted Apple to expand the characters’ skin tones? Well, in November, the Unicode Consortium released new emoji standards that also addressed the emojis’ skin tone palette. Large companies such as Apple, Google, Microsoft, and IBM all utilize Unicode and follow their established, international policies in concern with text and characters. Due to this uniformity, people have the ability to send emojis from iPhones to Androids to other devices that use Unicode.

Now, how will one access the palette of “diverse characters” for each emoji? Worry not, for the task is easily done. He or she simply needs to place his or her finger on the original emoji until the skin tones appear.

Emoji users will have to wait until the update is available. As of now, the iOS 8.3 is only available to software developers.

However, there remains some controversy regarding the upcoming emoji coloration, for the “colors” may not accurately represent the different races. Rather, it may promote the stereotypical “colors” regarding racial variations.  For instance, one character is bright yellow, analogous to some as a “Simpson” character. Another character is purely black.

On a different note, Apple has eliminated the currently existing wristwatch and cell phone emoji with an iPhone 6 and Apple Watch.

With the novel addition of the “racially diverse” emojis, the public will be able to embrace the new colorations.