As society becomes more racially and culturally aware, calls for diversity have permeated even the seemingly trivial aspects of our lives — evidenced in increasingly vocal demands for more diverse representation in emojis, the little text message cartoons. After months of anticipation, the 300 new emojis that were included as part of the new iOS 8.3 released Wednesday were lauded by Apple users. How do you get the new emojis, and what should you expect from them?
First of all, kudos to Apple for responding to its users' pleas for emojis that feature more than one (white) skin tone. Available with the operating system update, the new keyboard allows you to choose from up to six skin tones — perhaps the most anticipated part of Apple's new emojis.
Interestingly, the range of skin tones follow the Fitzpatrick Classification scale, a recognized standard for dermatology. According to Forbes, the tones are based on how well each one reacts to UV rays, according to the Unicode Consortium, the body in charge of emojis.
300 extra emojis is a lot to go through, surely, but you won't have to scroll endlessly to get to one you're looking for. To access the full range of skin tones, simply hold down on the default yellow emoji and all its options will pop up.
The update also includes more gender diverse family emojis, including same-sex marriage families (in what I'd like to think of as a nod to progressive values).
Apple also added a bunch of new national flags, you know, in case you're feeling patriotic.
The emojis have been largely well received, with many applauding Apple for their decision to include more diversity.
But, of course, not everyone was pleased with the update.
Image: Emoji> (8)