Starting July 17, iPhone users will have a few more ways to express themselves.
Apple introduced new emojis to its iOS, macOS, and
Emojis are, of course, nothing but tiny, emotive pictures, used to express complex emotions that words can’t quite get across. Sure, you can try to text something like “I want a pizza,” but how will your recipient know what you mean if you don’t include a miniature picture of a pizza slice?
Snark aside, emojis are big business, and Apple seems to be taking this release seriously. The new emoji set includes a woman breastfeeding, a woman with a headscarf, and a man meditating, so the company is clearly using this opportunity to appeal to a wider audience.
Of course, the set also includes an elf princess and a zombie, so we wouldn’t take this too seriously.
Other additions included a coconut, a smiley face with its head exploding, a Tyrannosaurus rex, and a sandwich.
As Emojipedia notes, several Android-capable messaging apps use Apple emojis rather than Google emojis, including WhatsApp, Telegram, and Signal. In other words, Apple sort of runs the emoji game right now (for whatever that’s worth).
iOS users now have access to about 2,373 emojis. In 2011, the operating system only supported 471 emojis.
If you’re wondering about World Emoji Day, we looked into it.
It seems to be an unofficial marketing holiday, and it’s closely tied to Apple. In fact, World Emoji Day is July 17 because that’s the date displayed on the icon of the iOS Calendar app. Jeremy Burge started the holiday in 2014; Burge is also the founder of Emojipedia, a website that defines different types of emojis.
While Apple seems to be taking the lead on World Emoji Day this year, that’s not always the case. The official Google Twitter account celebrated last year by introducing emojis for women of color. Dozens of other major brands have endorsed the dubious holiday, including McDonald’s, Tim Hortons, Twitter, and Radio Disney.
This year, several countries announced attempts to break the “emoji world record,” which is even stranger than it sounds. Groups of people dressed as emojis congregated in Ireland, Brazil, UK, China, Russia, and Dubai UAE, and the Guinness World Record people were on hand in each location to crown a winner. If you really want to know, the record was simultaneously set by five countries.
Oh, and Dublin participants received free tickets to The Emoji Movie, which will hit U.S. theaters on July 28, 2017. Apparently, that movie is closely linked to this whole World Emoji Day craze, but we’re not quite sure how—maybe there’s an emoji that can clear it up.