Apple’s iOS 10.2 Release Date Is Today: Get Ready For Some Emoji Changes

After months of testing and developer betas, Apple drops iOS 10.2 to the public today. With this new update, Apple introduces a plethora of changes, additions, new emoji, and security improvements to make your iExperience a little better — or worse, depending on your point of view.

The new iPhone 7 is displayed on a table at an Apple store in Manhattan on September 16, 2016 in New York City

Some Notable Security Fixes

As per usual with iOS updates, Apple tinkers with the software’s security to ensure it’s as protected as possible. For example, under Accessibility in an iDevice’s settings (Settings > General > Accessibility), Apple disabled the speaking of passwords to prevent nearby people from hearing the password being spoken. Furthermore, under Accessibility, Apple disabled the amount of options available from a locked iDevice to stop people from accessing photos and contacts from the locked screen.

In the phone display (Settings > Display & Brightness > Auto-Lock, or Settings > Touch ID & Passcode), Apple improved the idle timer when attempting to unlocking the screen with Touch ID. This change makes it so the screen shuts itself back off instead of staying lit after the Touch ID prompt is shown.

Moving on to the media player (Settings > Privacy > Media Library, or iTunes), Apple improved validation of the media player to hinder people from accessing photos and contacts from a locked screen.

And finally, in regard to general privacy, Apple improved their iDevices state management. This crucial change prevents people with physical access to a device — but unable to unlock the phone with either Touch ID or passcode — from unlocking the device. So, if someone has your iPhone or iPod or iPad but doesn’t have your fingerprint or knows your passcode, they were able to unlock the device regardless. With Apple’s new security update, however, that will no longer be a problem.

For more detailed information on all of the software security changes, head over to Apple’s website.

A Few Other Interesting Tidbits

The News app has a couple of changes. There is now a new Saved section, meaning stories you’ve saved to read later will populate this area, and by swiping left or tapping Next Story, you can access the next story, making it easier to feverishly digest your news and entertainment.

The Messages app has a couple of changes. Apple fixed an issue that sometimes prevented the keyboard from popping up, and there are new love and celebration full-screen effects, something introduced in the original roll out of iOS 10.

The Photos app and photos, in general, have a couple of changes. Apple improved the stabilization of the camera to deliver faster frame rates for Live Photos and fixed an issue where the camera would stay zoomed in after switching back from the camera roll on the iPhone 7 Plus.

And there’s a brand new TV app, Apple’s answer to Hulu, Netflix, HBONow, and the like. This new TV app provides recommendations for new movies and TV shows in the Watch Now section, helps you discover new apps and iTunes releases in the Store section, and presents an “Up Next” section that showcases the movies and TV shows you’re currently watching or similar to what you’re currently watching, or entertainment that you left off on. Additionally, you can sign in to your cable provider of choice — according to MacRumors, it’s said to work with DirecTV, Dish, Sling TV, and a few others — to get all of your movies and TV on the go. Think of Netflix, but done by Apple.

The Biggest Modification

Interestingly, though, the biggest change in iOS 10.2 is the addition — or alteration, in some instances — of over 100 new emoji. These new emoji will include new faces, animals, foods, sports, and professions, as well as the coveted shrug emoji. Regrettably, if you sext a lot, you’ll be sad to know that the infamous peach butt and eggplant emoji have been altered to not look so lascivious and erotic.

Emoticons are displayed on the Touch Bar on a new Apple MacBook Pro laptop during a product launch event on October 27, 2016

No one will be upset if you decide to never update your phone again, but if you’re interested in keeping your new iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus secure, you can download the update over-the-air by going to Settings > General > Software Update. Of course, make sure your phone is either over 50 percent battery life or charging and connected to Wi-Fi.

[Featured Image by Spencer Platt/Getty Images]