February 24, 2015
Apple Emoji: Icons To Be Racially Diverse By Next iOS Update

Apple emoji faces are about to be racially diverse as promised by the technology maker. Apple's release of icons that reveal more than white faces will happen as soon as the next update rolls around, according to AP via Yahoo News. The racially diverse emojis will come in six different skin tones for animated faces, which users enjoy adding to text messages and emails.

The announcement by Apple emerged Monday. It says by including racially diverse faces, its "commitment to improving diversity" is reflected.

It didn't take long for something to be called out, however. Due to an outward shade of yellow chosen for Asian faces, it reportedly "bordered" on the line of racism to some on social media.

One asked on Weibo, "Are we really that yellow?"

"That yellow is really yellow, how can a man be so yellow?" another remarked.

CNN reports that some 300 new emojis will be included in the next iOS update, which will be released later this year. The Apple emoji updates will feature diversity in male and female faces as well as thumbs up and thumbs down expressions.

The Inquisitr wrote about the Apple emoji updates last year when the company disclosed its goal for racially diverse icons.

An Apple spokesperson reveals the tech giant's motive in this emoji update.

"Apple supports and cares deeply about diversity, and is working with The Unicode Consortium to update the standard so that it better represents diversity for all of us."
As the report explains, the Unicode Consortium "sets international rules for text and characters to insure consistency across platforms." These are used by the top tech companies -- Apple, Google, Microsoft, and IBM. In other words, when users send an emoji from an iPhone to someone using an Android, it reads the same. The task in creating the diverse emojis has been challenging when it comes to the Unicode system.

It also mentions in the CNN report that the diverse Apple emoji skin tones were based on the Fitzpatrick Scale -- a scale dermatologists refer to when classifying different types of skin.

Besides the racial diversity of emojis, Apple is adding 32 new country flags and expanded family icons that include same-sex couples. With the various family situations that exist today, it makes perfect sense. There's not a one-size fits all culture we live in and Apple recognizes that.

Are you glad to see these updates on Apple emojis?

[Photo Credit: Apple via The Next Web]