Apple has released a beta version of the iOS 14.5 operating system, which is currently only available to developers. It features 217 new emojis with a focus on inclusivity from the Unicode Consortium's Emoji 13.1 release, 200 of which include couples with a mix of skin tones, including partners of the same sex. The company added several new emojis and hearts and also slightly changed existing emojis.
Along with more added skin tones, the beard emoji has also been changed to represent not only the neutral Person:Beard look, but also a woman with a beard or a man with a beard. It is noted that the emojis with female faces have thinner eyebrows and longer hair.
New emojis also include Exhaling Face, Face With Spiral Eyes, and Face in Clouds. Another popular emoji category of Hearts has been updated with two new options: a flaming one (Heart on Fire) and a healed one (Mending Heart). In addition, the developers changed the already existing emoji of the syringe, removing blood from it and supposedly making it look more vaccine-friendly.
The Unicode Consortium approved all of these emojis in September last year, so developers could integrate them into their products even back then. However, the companies themselves decide how emojis will look on their devices and when they will be added. For instance, the users of Pixel smartphones could use new emojis since December last year.
Apple has also updated the generic headphone emoji, making it look more like the new AirPods Max after they were released last December. Apple has done the same thing before, making the emojis of a laptop, desktop computer, and mobile phone look like the tech giant’s products.
Apple introduced the iOS 14.5 beta in early February. The full release of the operating system also reportedly includes a bunch of other useful features, such as support for the new PlayStation and Xbox controllers, the option to select Spotify as the default Siri music streaming service, and a new way to unlock iPhone with an Apple Watch if the user is wearing a face mask. The iOS 14.5 will become available to all users in the spring.