Apple are introducing a raft of new emojis for the latest iOS 14.5 update, including an empty syringe, new AirPods icons and women with beards.
The release, which is an add-on to the scheduled Unicode Consortium’s Emoji 13.1 update, will also include new skin tone options and extra smiley faces and hearts, like ‘face exhaling’, ‘face with spiral’ eyes, ‘heart on fire’ and ‘mending heart’.
Existing emojis like ‘couple with hearts’ and ‘couple kissing’ were previously only available in a limited number of skin tones, which has now been expanded.
A syringe was also already available, but was filled with blood – which some public health experts thought might be off putting for people considering a coronavirus vaccine.
The newer, empty syringe will hopefully be used to signify vaccinations in a more positive light.
Other new emojis include climbing with helmets, AirPod Max-like headphones replacing the stock headphone image and a person with feminine features and a beard, which aims to be more inclusive.
Apple have been rapidly expanding their emoji library with recent updates. In November’s iOS 14.2 update, it added more than 100 new emoji, including a beaver, dodo and anatomical heart, and in iOS 13.2, new disability-inclusive emoji were added.
Emoji first appeared on Japanese mobil phones in the late 1990s, translating to ‘picture character’. As the internet grew rapidly over the next decade, they became standard as ‘smileys’ sent over instant messaging apps and social media.
Operating systems like Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android come with a raft of emoji as standard, which are based on the Unicode Consortium vast collection of emoji.