Apple to introduce racial diversity to its emojis

Apple to introduce racial diversity to its emojis

In an effort to better represent its users all over the world, the global brand is working to make the fun and cute graphics more relatable to more people

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Soon, you may be able to text an emoji that looks more like you.
Soon, you may be able to text an emoji that looks more like you.
Photo: AP

Lovers of emojis, the cute graphics that punctuate online writing and texts, will soon be able to pick from different skin tones and depictions of families with two moms or two dads on Apple devices.

Apple Inc. has incorporated more diverse emojis into the developer version of the latest update to its mobile operating system. The iPhone and iPad maker has not said when the update will be available for all users.

Currently almost all the emojis depicting people or body parts, such as a fist or bicep, look white on Apple devices and other platforms. More cartoon-like faces that are smiling, crying, winking or suggestive of other emotions come in a shade of yellow reminiscent of “The Simpsons” characters.

An Apple spokeswoman said Tuesday that the company is working with the Unicode Consortium, the nonprofit organization that sets the standards for the pictograms, “to update the standard so that it better represents diversity for all of us.”

Unicode last fall proposed adding five new skin color options for emojis. A Unicode technical report says users worldwide want emojis that better reflect global diversity.

Apple is adding more than 300 additional emoji, including new icons of gay families and 32 new country flags.

Devices made by Cupertino, California-based Apple as well as those running Google Inc.’s Android operating system dominate the smartphone and tablet market.

Google spokeswoman Liz Markman said the Mountain View, California, company said it had no news to share Tuesday regarding diverse emojis. 

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