[Update 9/30/20: iOS 14.2 Public Beta 2 has just been released and includes all of the following new emoji. Read the original article below.]
While it’s been a slightly weird year for new emoji — since frankly it’s been a weird year for pretty much everything — iPhone and iPad users can rest assured that new emoji characters are still on their way.
The Unicode Consortium, which handles the standardization and approval of all new emoji to ensure that they work and show up properly on different platforms, actually managed to get the Unicode 13 standard and Emoji 13 ratified before the novel coronavirus lockdown came upon us, which means that there have been over 100 new emoji characters waiting in the wings since earlier this year.
In fact, Apple even previewed some of the more noteworthy additions back in July, including some with their own unique Apple spin, which may have led you to wonder why none of the new emoji showed up when iOS 14 was released earlier this month.
However, the fact is that new emoji have almost never come with major new iOS releases, and in that sense, iOS 14 is no exception.
In 2017 and 2018, new emoji landed in the first point release, iOS 11.1 and iOS 12.1, respectively, while last year it took until iOS 13.2 before they showed up, since iOS 13.1 came upon us much more quickly.
Now it looks like Apple will be following the same trend this year of adding the new emoji to iOS 14.2; while the new set of glyphs didn’t make the cut for the original iOS 14.2 developer beta released a couple of weeks ago, this appears to have now been rectified with the second developer beta that arrived this week, which appears to pack in the entire Emoji 13 character set, including the highly-anticipated Bubble Tea, Transgender Flag, Dodo, Nesting Dolls, and more.
In fact, Emojipedia has shared a first look at the Apple-specific designs for the new emoji, effectively confirming that they’re going to arrive in iOS 14.2 as well.
You see, while the Unicode Consortium’s Emoji Subcommittee defines in broad terms what each emoji character should look like, the specific artwork is still left up to each platform developer; this is why even smilies can look very different between iOS, Android, and even Windows, since Apple, Google, and Microsoft all create their own versions of each emoji according to the guidelines.
So while we’ve known that Emoji 13 was coming since January, the only opportunity we’ve had before this week to see what those new glyphs will look like on Apple’s devices was from the preview that Apple shared back in July, which only included 13 examples out of the total set of 117 new emoji that have actually been added to the standard.
While 55 of those 117 are simply skin tone and gender variations, that still leaves a total of 62 totally new emojis, and now that they’re all in the iOS 14.2 beta, we can finally take a peek at what Apple has done.
As we saw from Apple’s earlier preview, the emoji created by the iPhone maker continues to show a level of attention to detail that most other platforms don’t much bother with, opting for more cartoony styles instead.
We already saw Apple’s versions of a Dodo, Nesting Dolls, a Piñata, a Tamale, Pinched Fingers, a Boomerang, a Ninja, a Coin, an Anatomical Heart, a Beaver, a Transgender Symbol, Bubble Tea, and Lungs, all of which featured hyper-realistic designs, right down to anatomically correct representations of the organs with veins and arteries actually drawn right onto them, flower emojis added to the Nesting Dolls, and Apple’s legendary catchphrase, “The Crazy Ones” on the new coin emoji.
While Emojipedia has yet to update all of its individual emoji pages with the Apple versions, they all seem to follow the same general pattern of meticulous illustration. Here’s the full list of all of the new Emojis coming in Emoji 13 and iOS 14.2.
Apple has also naturally added its take on several of the newly-defined gender variations from Emoji 13, including the wedding-themed 🤵♂️ Man in Tuxedo and 👰♀️Woman with Veil, which now include the gender variations for 👰♂️Man with Veil and 🤵♀️Woman in Tuxedo, along with a plethora of new skin tones for each.
A new gender-neutral 🧑🎄 Mx Claus Emoji has also been added to the set, as a gender-inclusive alternative to the classic Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus emojis, plus a new lineup of bottle-feeding emojis: 👨🍼 Man Feeding Baby, 👩🍼 Woman Feeding Baby, and 🧑🍼 Person Feeding Baby, once again with a variety skin tones available.
As Emojipedia notes, Apple took a relatively unique approach to the new People Hugging emoji, following its 👥 Busts in Silhouette design in order to illustrate a hug without needing to include all of the variations required for gender and skin tone.
There’s More To Come…
Although the ongoing pandemic has delayed Unicode 14 and its accompanying major Emoji 14 release, all doesn’t appear to be lost, as the Emoji working group has published an interim Emoji 13.1 release that will help to fill the gap.
While the release actually includes 217 new emojis, the vast bulk of these — 200 of them, in fact — will simply be to add new mixed skin tone combinations for the two-person “couples” emojis, while another 12 will add gender variations for the Beard emoji set, which has previously been depicted only as male.
When’s It All Coming?
Since the Emoji 13 set is already in the second developer beta of iOS 14.2, this means that those who are in a hurry should be able to get their hands on the new glyphs very soon, since a second public beta of iOS 14.2 will undoubtedly appear in the next day or so. They’re also available in the latest beta of macOS Big Sur and will naturally be included when macOS 11 Big Sur launches.
That said, while you’ll be able to see all of the new emojis, you’ll have a hard time exchanging them with friends and family who haven’t yet installed the latest iOS 14.2 or Big Sur betas, since they aren’t supported on the older versions, so it will likely take a few more weeks until they’re widely available.
As for the Emoji 13.1 set, these are not yet included in the iOS 14.2 beta, and according to Emojipedia, you probably shouldn’t hold your breath. The new set was only approved last week and isn’t expected to come to the iPhone until sometime in 2021, and in fact, it’s implied that Apple may very well be saving them for iOS 15 a year from now.