Ready for New Emojis? | Here Are the New Emojis Coming Soon in iOS 15.4

new emojis ios 15 4 emojiepdia Credit: Emojipedia
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No sooner did Apple release iOS 15.3 to the public this week than it already had its first iOS 15.4 beta out to developers — less than 24 hours later — and while this point release has already surprised us with one fascinating new feature, it’s also packing in a new collection of emojis for us all to enjoy.

To be clear, the new emojis aren’t really a surprise — they’re part of the Emoji 14.0 group that was proposed last year. Typically, it takes time for software makers to implement each new batch of emojis once they’re ratified, and in Apple’s case, that usually means that they never make it to the major point-zero release of a new iOS version.

For instance, last year it took until iOS 14.5 to bring the emojis introduced in the fall 2020 interim Emoji 13.1 release. The first betas of iOS 14.5 to include the new emoji appeared in February, so it’s fair to say that the timing for this new batch is right on schedule.

As usual, the folks over at Emojipedia are offering us a nice first look at what Apple is introducing in iOS 15.4, which is significant as Apple frequently puts its own spin on new emojis.

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For instance, where the Emoji spec calls for a set of headphones, Apple naturally represents those with its own AirPods Max. It’s not just about product placement, though; last year, Apple also removed the blood from the Syringe emoji to make it more appropriate for use in representing vaccinations rather than blood tests.

New Emoji Coming to iOS 15.4

This year, we’re getting the largest number of new smiley face emojis since iOS 11.1 came along in 2017.

This includes Melting Face, Face with Open Eyes and Hand Over Mouth, Face with Peeking Eye, Saluting Face, Dotted Line Face, Face with Diagonal Mouth, and Face Holding Back Tears.

As Keith Broni notes at Emojipedia, the new Face with Open Eyes and Hand Over Mouth is intended to be a neutral emoji on all platforms. While it’s actually identical to the Face with Hand Over Mouth (🤭) emoji in iOS 15.3 and prior versions, Apple is changing this original emoji to include smiling eyes, making it consistent with how it appears on other vendors’ platforms.

This disambiguation should help avoid emoji confusion when 🤭 is sent in future.Keith Broni, Emojipedia

Due to the way that Emoji works, you’ll actually see the new smiling eyes version here (🤭) if you’re reading this article on a device running the iOS/iPadOS 15.4 beta. Users on released versions of iOS will still see the older version.

Apple actually calls Face with Hand Over Mouth Blushing Face with Hand Over Mouth, although it doesn’t look like it’s blushing to us. Either way, though, the official Unicode name is Smiling Face with Smiling Eyes and Hand Covering Mouth, so it’s probably fair to say that Apple’s implementation of this one was a little off to begin with.

The new Emoji 14.0 standard is also continuing the work of bringing gender variants to the entire collection of person emojis, with the goal of ensuring that every emoji depicting a person is available in Man, Woman, and non-gender Person versions.

To this end, the latest iOS 15.4 beta adds a new gender-neutral emoji for Person with Crown, which was previously available only in Man and Woman variants. The Pregnant Woman emoji is also now joined by Pregnant Person and Pregnant Man.

Seven new hand gestures have also been added, some of which mirror gestures used in Apple’s Memoji avatars. These include Rightwards Hand, Leftwards Hand, Palm Down Hand, Palm Up Hand, Hand with Index Finger and Thumb Crossed, Index Pointing at the Viewer, and Heart Hands. These are all available with skin tone modifiers as well.

The iOS 15.4 beta also now offers 25 new versions of the 🤝 Handshake emoji, covering all the possible combinations of the five available skin tones, in much the same way that the couple emojis gained the same variations in last year’s big emoji update.

Broni notes that the current beta of iOS 15.4 still only offers the five current variants where both hands share the same skin tone, although that’s expected to change by the time iOS 15.4 is released to the public. This is only the first beta, after all.

iOS 15.4 will be adding several other fun new emoji that go beyond smiley faces, hands, and people. These include several more entries in the animals, nature, food & drink, objects, and symbols categories: Coral, Lotus, Empty Nest, Nest with Eggs, Beans, Pouring Liquid, Jar, Playground Slide, Wheel, Ring Buoy, Hamsa, Mirror Ball, Low Battery, Crutch, X-Ray, Bubbles, Identification Card, and Heavy Equals Sign.

All the new emojis are available no win iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4, although you won’t be able to get the most of them until the public release is available, as even though iOS 15.4 beta users will be able to see them and exchange them between themselves, they’ll appear as empty, meaningless placeholder glyphs ( 🪹 ) on devices that don’t yet support the new Emoji 14.0 standard.

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