It would be a challenge to find any food more more quintessentially New York than a bagel. Some would argue the same for pizza, but there is a a big Chicago Deep Dish debate involved with that so, let’s stick to bagels. Slate reports the by 1900, there were 70 bagel bakeries in the Lower East Side of the city, alone. More than 100 years later, the roll-with-a-hole is standard American breakfast fare, and comes in countless varieties. Most recently it has debuted in digital form as an emoji, depicted as a plain sliced bagel — but New Yorkers hated it so much, that Apple had to add cream cheese to the bagel emoji to appease them.
Let's back up for some context on this salty debate. Earlier this year, Apple announced a bagel emoji would be added along with newer updates for the device. Following the initial, brief excitement about the forthcoming emoji, users began to take notice of the detail (or lack thereof) on the image. New Yorkers and international carboholics alike agreed: the bagel is bad. The bagel depicted was plain, un-toasted, without cream cheese. Twitter user Downtown Josh Brown presented one of the most accurate descriptions of the emoji, saying it bore a likeness to “… something you get from a cardboard box in the freezer section at Walmart.” With that and a slew of other tweets, New Yorkers made their feelings about this bagel known.
But, Apple went back to the drawing board and revamped the the image. On Monday, October 15, Jeremy Burge, the Chief Emoji Officer of Emojipedia, premiered the better bagel to the public.
According to a post on Emojipedia, the new design hopes to address the concerns voiced about the previous design. The new graphic look far more appetizing, with visible texture, a clear exterior sheen, and a heavy spread of cream cheese in the middle — as it should be.
As emoji don’t just appear on Apple products, the team had some designers from other outlets weigh in on the re-design. “We had first started with simply one half of a sliced bagel, which at a smaller size just looked like a brown donut,” Bryan Haggerty, the Lead Designer at Twitter, explained to Emojipedia. “We quickly moved to realizing the necessity of the cream cheese, both visually and from the perspective of some former New Yorkers on the team.”
Jennifer Daniel, the head of emoji design at Google, also weighed in, saying to Emojipedia, “Is there anyone more opinionated about authenticity than New Yorkers and their bagels? Our bagel was drawn by someone who has eaten a bodega bagel before.”
As of right now, there are five distinct bagel emoji designs the public as access to on Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Samsung devices, as well as on Twitter. Each of these designs vary slightly. Both the Google and Twitter bagel emoji keep the cream cheese and add sesame seeds to the top of its bagel, while the Microsoft and Samsung bagel Emojis emphasize the bagel in its purest form, eschewing any and all toppings.
So far, the emoji has been received more positively than its predecessor. But, one thing is for sure: breakfast date propositions just got a lot more animated.