💬 The Wrap
Apple released their biggest emoji update ever just two weeks before Christmas. This changed to the appearance of nearly every emoji, and (finally?) introduced the new Unicode 9 emojis approved in June.
With graphical changes continuing to take place throughout the beta, it's clear this was a big job, that must have taken place over at least the past 24 months. Emojipedia stats now show iOS 10.2 installed on more than 50% of iOS users' devices.
The Unicode 10 emoji list is not yet final, but popular additions are sure to be the giraffe, dumpling, and meditating emojis. It's looking possible that Emoji 5.0's regional flag support may also roll out around the same time, but could well be ready earlier in the year. More to come on this as draft and beta schedules are announced.
In 2017, expect to see vendors shipping new emoji updates as early as July in order to capitalize on any competitive advantage this may provide. Apple has traditionally waited for an iOS x.1 or x.2 release for emoji updates around September—December, but watch and see if that pattern changes in the coming year.
📲 iOS 10.2 Emoji Changelog
This is the big one. Despite emoji rollouts happening on many platforms throughout 2016, the highest level of public interest appears to be reserved for Apple's iOS emoji updates. 104 new emojis, and 987 new 3D designs for existing emojis have rolled out for iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and the Mac.
📝 Proposed Update UTR #51, Unicode Emoji (Version 5.0)
Proposed update to Emoji TR-51 (the technical report which specifies emoji functionality in Unicode) version 5.0 brings support for ISO "subdivision" flags, as well as a re-ordering of the Selfie emoji. The review period for this update ends on January 16, 2017.
🎌 Regional Flag Support For Unicode in 2017
If approved, flags of England, Scotland, and Wales will become possible for vendors to implement. This same update would also permit Catalan, Texas, and many other flags. A high-level look at how this would work.
📜 Adopt-A-Character Grant to Support Indic Scripts
Funds from Unicode's Adopt-A-Character program granted to support further development of scripts used in Myanmar, Bangladesh, South India, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Western China, and Central Asia.
🤢 The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Apple’s New Emoji
Some of Apple's latest emoji changes have been divisive. Madison Malone Kircher highlights her picks of the bunch.
♨️ Japan worries then onsen emoji will confuse Olympic visitors
In preparation for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Japan is considering whether foreigners will understand symbols such as the hot springs onsen symbol. Could this also mean an update to the emoji? Always a potential issue when including symbols in Unicode.
🔍 Google's emojitastic Twitter feature is great — when it's not failing
Emoji search has been growing, with platforms like Yelp offering this for over a year now. Google joined in with Google Maps and has added a Twitter component to go with it. A relatively minor selection of emojis work right now, but this will likely grow in future.
🐈 Emoji Kittens
SO CUTE. Just look at them! Photography by Tania Hennessey
🎬 Video: Before / After Emoji Changes in iOS 10.2
Side by side comparisons of some notable emoji changes in iOS 10.2
⏳ Emoji History Series
"It is well known that emoji owes a lot to its Japanese heritage but what of the sacred carvings that arose at the dawn of Sumerian civilization and their natural evolution to money-with-wings emoji 💸 marking successful drug deals on Venmo 💊 💉 ✅ ?" — this timeline from Sophmoji.
🍑 People Love Using The Peach And Eggplant Emojis Together
An analysis of peach emoji use on Twitter has shown 33% of tweets using 🍑 as a shorthand for butt and 27% have sexual connotations or include suggestive imagery. Look out for more from Hamdan Azhar on Emojipedia in 2017.
🏛 Emoji: one of the most powerful tools of modern communication
Tom Power from CBC talking to Paul Galloway, the collection specialist for the Department of Architecture and Design at the Museum of Modern Art; about the emoji installation which opened this month.
💩 Why are we so passionate about the smiling poop emoji?
"How can you be mad, or offended, by an emoji that actually looks like soft serve ice cream with big eyes and a smile?"
📊 The year in emojis, in 5 charts
Mixed reaction to brands using emojis, but vast majority of people use them at least occassionally.
👨🎨 How an emoji goes from pitch to product
"Paul Hunt is a type designer at Adobe who helped bring the orange heart and more gender-inclusive emoji to Unicode 10, the upcoming version of Unicode Standard." — interview conducted by Megan Farokhmanesh from The Verge.
📖 Do emojis have their own syntax?
"do emoji have grammar/direction? if english is 👩📸👨 (girl photographs boy), is arabic 👨📸👩 or 👨👩📸 ? and is japanese 👩👨📸 ?"
The answer, from linguist Rachael Tatman.
🙋 What’s Your Favorite Emoji?
Justin Bai asks attendees at Emojicon about their fave emojis.
👤 Emoji Dictator of the World
Custom emoji fonts, :hedgehog:, Clippy, the difference between gender neutral and gender inclusive, and what is a merperson? With special guest Paul Hunt, a font designer from Adobe.
What a year of emoji news it has been! Thanks to those of you who subscribed to our new Emoji Wrap podcast, or followed day to day emoji updates on the Emojipedia Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts.
I love seeing all the creative things people are doing with emoji, and the positivity that goes along with it. Hope you will stick around to see what's new in 2017!