Apple Goes Diverse: New Emojis Feature 6 Skin Tones, More Countries

AP Photo
AP Photo

As promised, Apple will soon be giving users the option of diversifying their emojis for both smartphones and computers, which will feature new skin tone options for people, as well as a wider variety of international flags.

The company pledged action on the topic in March of last year, after company CEO Tim Cook received an email from MTV Act, according to TechCrunch. MTV then received a reply from Apple public relations head Katie Cotton, who promised the company would be working to make those changes standard.

New developer preview builds reveal the alternate characters will now come in six skin color options for emojis featuring faces, hands and other exposed skin, which will become available when users hold a finger over the icon of their choice.

In addition to those changes, the current limited flag set, which features only a handful of developed countries in Asia and Europe, as well as the United States, will be expanded to a total of 32 flags. The new inclusions will soon be found in their own section of the emoji keyboard on iOS, titled “Travel & Places.”

While Apple has previously offered extended emoji support, TC reports the new changes will be included on any device with access to pre-launch software, including those run on iOS or OS X.

The updates are being made in collaboration with Unicode Consortium, and were co-edited by Google’s Mark Davis and Apple’s Peter Edberg.

Apple will also be overhauling certain images of gadgets displayed in the visual icons to those of company products, which includes replacing the classic telephone with an Apple iPhone 6, and the standard wristwatch with an Apple Watch.


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