iOS update adds gender-neutral emojis to phone screens

iOS update adds gender-neutral emojis to phone screens

The additions to Apple’s operating system aimed for inclusivity, but not everyone is impressed

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The new emoji appeared with the latest iOS upgrade.

Apple has put out new gender-neutral emojis of most of its people icons – including punks, clowns and zombies – as part of an update to its mobile operating system.

The tech giant has offered growing numbers of inclusive emoji designs in recent years, putting out a range of skin tones and occupations, with Google’s Android publishing its own non-binary faces in May.

A wheelchair, guide dog and a flexing prosthetic arm are among Apple’s latest batch – put out on Monday with the iOS 13.2 upgrade – that users can slip into messages to get their points across.

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The new gender-neutral emojis differ slightly from the male and female ones.

In some, the style and colour of their clothes is changed. In others the haircuts are different and a “gender-neutral facial structure” is used, says the Emojipedia website.

Other new emoji include robotic limbs, people who use wheelchairs and hearing aids, culturally-specific outfits, and some new cute animals.

The attempt at on-screen inclusivity has not pleased everyone however, with some suggesting the icons indicate how gender-nonconforming people should look.

“How do u determine that these emojis are how gender-neutrality should be represented or that these emojis even represent most gnc people,” wrote one Twitter user.

“I don’t understand why they weren’t just all neutral to begin with,” wrote another.

“Regular old smileys were neutral. I don’t know why we had to go and start gendering everything in the first place.”

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When it unveiled the designs earlier this year, Apple said they would “bring even more diversity to the keyboard” and “fill a significant gap” in the selection of emojis.

“Users will now be able to select any combination of skin tone, in addition to gender,” it said.

Businesses have paid increasing attention to becoming more inclusive in recent times.

Toy maker Mattel for example released gender-neutral dolls last month with none of the curves or large muscles of the traditional Barbie or GI Joe, while many small fashion brands and make-up companies are marketing non-binary products.

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
Gender neutral emojis hit screens in new Apple update

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2 Comments

Tris Torr

06:50am

I never liked the standard icons. Even when we developed our own platform, we asked developers to create unique emoji and icons for our application. We were very pleasantly surprised when we were done really qualitatively and beautifully. We ordered the development itself from https://polygant.net. So I recommend this mobile app development company to everyone.

Amika Dasida

06:52am

Well, face recognition and not only now is a trend. Moreover, user verification simplifies the life of the user himself due to the reduction of waiting time. I myself am waiting for the provision of a working version for my application from the guys from https://****oxagile.com/competence/computer-vision/facial-recognition/ facial recognition systems.