💬 The Wrap
Hello from ☕️ Philz in Cupertino where I'm currently on my laptop ahead of this week's Unicode Technical Committee meeting. So what's happening this week?
On the agenda this week, amongst many other non-emoji topics, is an update to the emoji documentation which proposes dramatically expanding what can be an emoji. At present, most new emojis require a large process to gain a name and code point as part of acceptance into the Unicode Standard.
What these QID Emoji Tag Sequences propose is a method of using the ID of a Wikipedia entry to define a new emoji. This would theoretically permit different platforms to support different emojis, but with the benefit that no two platforms would implement the same emoji with different code points (as both would have the same Wikipedia QID, with an example listed as dog breeds).
This could speed up implementation, and also avoids literally every object in the world requiring a unique code point over time. It also allows some platforms a way to implant huge swathes of new emojis which might not be of interest to other systems.
Also being looked at is a proposal for Person Feeding Baby which expands on efforts to create gender neutral options for most emojis. In this instance, rather than new gender options for the breastfeeding emoji, a new bottle-feeding option for a gender-ambiguous person, woman and man is proposed.
I continue to field questions about when new emojis are coming to iOS. Apple is on the record as saying these are coming in "Fall 2019" which I read as October or November. With a slightly disjointed iOS release schedule this year (iOS 13.1 came only one week after iOS 13.0), it seems possible we'll see these in iOS 13.2, or even iOS 13.3.
Oh and if you're in Hong Kong...you'll notice you now have one less emoji on the emoji keyboard. The flag for 🇹🇼 Taiwan has been removed for all iOS devices bought in Hong Kong, and for international iPhones with the region set to Hong Kong. This change is less restrictive than the existing ban in China, as the emoji can still be copied-and-pasted, but it's still notable - especially with the ongoing pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong - as previously Hong Kong was mostly free of these sorts of restrictions on iOS
🏡 The house painted with 'spiteful' smileys
I think I was sent articles and tweets about this emoji house more than just about anything else this year
🤖 Meet the Developer Behind the Emoji Mashup Bot
Everyone loves Emoji Mashup Bot! And so far, no milkshake duck.
📜 The Tragedy of UCS-2
"If you're reading this in modern times, it's likely you know this is not what happened."
A Unicode story, well written.
🧐 Unicode website gets a redesign
Launched on World Emoji Day, the new Unicode site is simpler to approach and reflects the increased interest in the Unicode Standard in the post-emoji era (PEE lol).
However I regret to inform you that the guts of the site - all the technical documentation - is as inaccessible as ever. Which might not be the worst thing, given Unicode is a primarily a standards body
🚙 Ford Secretly Created the New Pickup Emoji Because Nothing Is Sacred
There's no restriction on who can propose an emoji to Unicode. The theory is that as proposals are judged on their merits, the originator isn't all that relevant.
Having said that, hiding beneath your PR company to file a proposal and then campaign about how clever that was is a bit cheeky, IMO.
🍷 The Philosophical Case Against the White-Wine Emoji
When it comes to variations of existing emojis - like white wine - I'm sure they might be popular. But should it be a priority for Unicode? I can see the merit in future, but certainly not as a priority.
It's been a few months since the last Emoji Wrap newsletter. If you're interested in what makes emoji tick, then you've come to the right place. No podcast this month, but we'll be returning with alongside a future newsletter.
For those who are new to the newsletter, a brief intro on me: I'm Jeremy Burge, founder and Chief Emoji Officer (basically the Editor in Chief) of Emojipedia. As Emojipedia is a voting member of the Unicode Consortium and I represent it at UTC meetings where new emojis and other emoji details are decided.
If you want to hear more from me personally, feel free to follow me on Twitter, or join some of my posts as I check out the UK by boat. For emoji only news - I'd recommend the Emojipedia Twitter account as the more suitable place.