If you’re the type of person who ignores their phone when it tells them it’s time to update (to be fair, that is pretty much EVERY person save a diligent few) today is the day to relinquish control of your iOS device for a few minutes to download and install the latest iOS 8.3 update. For it is THE update. That’s right — it’s NEW emoji time, people.
We gave you a preview of the emoji updates coming to your iOS life this year, but let’s take a look at them in action:
The entire emoji keyboard is new, laid out in one screen that you can scroll through from Recently Used on to People all the way to Objects + Symbols. For those of us with great memory, you can still find an emoji in a specific category by using the gray icons below.
Many of the People emoji (pretty much any single person and all of the hands) will allow you to change the skin tone and hair color — just press down and a menu pops up with your options. You’ll notice that none of the family or group emoji (which were mostly all light skinned with dark hair) have that option, they’re all stuck in smiley face yellow. There have been some understandable complaints about the default saffron hue, though Huffington Post does a good job of explaining that it’s NOT meant to represent a human skin tone, but instead a default color on par with your average GChat emoticon or LEGO person.
Recently, the all-knowing, wildly wise Shonda Rhimes took a stand against the word “diversity” when speaking at the Human Rights Campaign Gala. In her words: “I really hate the word ‘diversity.’ It suggests something … other. As if it is something … special. Or rare. Diversity! As if there is something unusual about telling stories involving women and people of color and LGBTQ characters on TV. I have a different word: normalizing. I’m normalizing TV. I am making TV look like the world looks.” Although Shonda was referring to TV, we would like to continue that dialogue in emoji land. This update including new faces and hands isn’t diversifying emoticons, it’s just normalizing them. And that’s something we give a serious [thumbs up] to.
Besides the redesigned emoji keyboard + general bug fixes and performance enhancements, Apple added new language support for Siri, the ability to report spam emails and (this one is pretty handy!) the option to filter out iMessages that don’t come from your contacts.
Update: Make sure your friends and family download the update too… or else they’ll see a #NewEmojiFail:
Have you updated your iOS device yet? Share below or Tweet us @britandco with some of those new emoji!
(h/t The Verge)