This week's sponsor


An app for every job, already on your Mac

Posts tagged with "emoji"

New Emoji Announced for 2018

Today the latest batch of emoji approved for addition to the Unicode standard was announced. Jeremy Burge at Emojipedia has the scoop:

The emoji list for 2018 has been published which adds 157 new emojis to the standard. This brings the total number of approved emojis to 2,823.

The latest emoji set includes (finally!) a redhead option, along with a superhero and super villain, kangaroo, llama, bagel, cupcake, and much more.

Emojipedia has created a video featuring designs of the newly approved emoji in a style resembling Apple's emoji set. While we won't get a glimpse at Apple's own designs until later in the year, the video does a great job providing a preview of what we can expect.

In recent years it has become tradition for Apple to add the newest emoji to a point release of iOS, so if that pattern holds, we'll get our hands on these newest emoji options with iOS 12.1 or 12.2 before the end of the year.


Slack Overhauls Emoji Support Across Platforms

In other emoji-related news, Slack today announced that they're going to support new emojis (including those from Emoji 5.0 released in 2017) across multiple platforms. If you use Slack on a regular basis, you know that the company has been notoriously slow over the past couple of years in adopting the latest emojis despite having launched features based entirely on them.

As noted by Jeremy Burge at Emojipedia, however, better emojis on Slack have brought a deeper change for Slack users on non-Apple platforms:

Users of iOS or macOS will see the least change to design in this release, as Slack previously defaulted to using Apple designs on all platforms.

Apple's emoji designs remain the set displayed when accessing Slack on any Apple platform.

Those using on Windows, Android, or any non-Apple platform will see a consistent set between: but it's not what you might expect. Google's emoji designs are being used for all non-Apple platforms now as shown by this alert:


While Apple's emoji font is entirely owned and copyrighted by Apple, Google's emoji font (named Noto Color Emoji) is provided with an open source license which allows other projects to use this within the terms set out in the SIL Open Font License. Given this, it's possible that Slack believes it is on firmer ground to be using Noto Color Emoji rather than embedding Apple emoji images on competing platforms.

Jason Snell argues that this move will lead to a different emoji experience for Slack users who access the service from non-Apple platforms:

The result is emoji fragmentation, where different users of Slack will see different versions of the same general concept. Also, users like my friend Erika might prefer one set of emoji designs to another, but they no longer have a choice in the matter.

That’s the bad news. The good news, at least, is that Slack is rolling out support for new emojis, including gender splits and skin tones, that it previously didn’t.

I wonder if Apple's apparent push toward locking their emoji designs to the iOS ecosystem may have played a role in Slack's decision to implement an open-source emoji set instead (see also: WhatsApp). Still, I'm happy that I can share all modern emojis on Slack; I'll have to rethink some of my typical emoji reactions now.


Emoji Use in Apps Leading to App Store Rejections

Over the last several weeks, a few different emoji-related App Review stories have been shared by developers on Twitter. Though it's common practice to use emoji throughout an app's interface, Apple has begun rejecting some apps for just this reason.

Emojipedia founder Jeremy Burge researched the issue and summarized what seems to be a shift in Apple's handling of emoji use. In a piece titled "Apple's Emoji Crackdown" he walks through his current understanding of what's permissible regarding emoji use, and what isn't – though with the caveat that none of this has been officially addressed by Apple yet. He concludes:

It would be a shame to see emojis banished from all apps due to potentially over-zealous app reviewers.

Using an emoji as a core part of an app's UI, or in-game character seems to be a fairly clear overstepping of the mark, and now that Apple has begun enforcing this, I don't expect that side of things to change.

It's understandable there is much confusion about this right now, especially as the Apple Color Emoji font until now has been treated by many as a font like any other. If...thought about as "a set of images created and owned by Apple", the terms for what seems reasonable do shift.

Despite the lack of word from Apple on an official policy change, the signs don't look good. Apple owns the rights to its emoji designs, and there is currently no way for developers to license those designs, so we may begin seeing a lot less emoji use in apps soon.


One More Step Toward 2018 Emoji List

Jeremy Burge:

Unicode last night announced the beta version of next year's emoji release.

This beta release marks one step closer to toward a softball emoji, as well as a cupcake, redheads, bagel or kangaroo. If they make the final cut, that is.

Other emoji candidates in the beta include a teddy bear, mango, party face, skateboard, and spool of thread.

Unfortunately, the proposed emoji that caused a controversy within the Unicode Consortium – the frowning pile of poo – didn't make the cut for next year. The list isn't finalized yet (it'll be in early 2018), but I already see the party face emoji as a potential new favorite.

Also worth noting: there's a proposal to add support for changing the direction of emoji. If accepted, I wonder if Apple could add a "direction picker" to the existing emoji skin tone menu.


iOS 11.1 Autocorrect Bug Explained

Jeremy Burge at Emojipedia explains what’s happening when iOS 11.1 replaces the letter 'I' with an 'A' followed by '⍰':

What's really going on is that the letter "I" is being appended with an invisible character known as Variation Selector 16 when auto-correct kicks in.
This VS-16 character is intended to be used to make the previous character have emoji appearance.1 When used in conjunction with the letter "I" it displays in some apps as "A ⍰".

The correct behaviour should be to ignore the invisible variation selector if the previous character doesn't have an emoji version.

The bug, which was a hot topic on Twitter over the weekend, only affects some users. Until a software update is issued by Apple to fix the issue, the company recommends setting up a text replacement rule that replaces a capital ‘I’ with a lower case ‘i’ as a workaround.

  1. eg: Snowman Without Snow is an old Unicode character ☃ but if you append Variation Selector 16 you get the emojified version: ⛄ ↩︎

Controversy Surrounds Proposed Frowning Pile of Poo Emoji

There’s a debate raging in the halls of the Unicode Consortium, and the fate of creative expression hangs in the balance. Okay, maybe that’s a bit of an overstatement, but the same could be said of some of the concerns raised in the dispute over the ‘Frowning Pile of Poo’ emoji. The unhappy pile, depicted above in an Emojipedia mockup, is under consideration for inclusion in the emoji lexicon alongside the happier version next fall, which has some Consortium members steaming mad.

BuzzFeed News published a story about the controversy today. Two typographers, Michael Everson and Andrew West, are leading the lobbying efforts against the frowning poo. Author Charlie Warzel reporting on a memo that Everson sent to the Consortium:

“Organic waste isn’t cute,” Everson wrote, aghast that the technical committee would even deign to consider additional excremoji. “It is bad enough that the Emoji Subcommittee came up with it, but it beggars belief that the Unicode Technical Committee actually approved it,” he wrote. Everson continued:

“The idea that our 5 committees would sanction further cute graphic characters based on this should embarrass absolutely everyone who votes yes on such an excrescence. Will we have a CRYING PILE OF POO next? PILE OF POO WITH TONGUE STICKING OUT? PILE OF POO WITH QUESTION MARKS FOR EYES? PILE OF POO WITH KARAOKE MIC? Will we have to encode a neutral FACELESS PILE OF POO?”

West penned a note to the Consortium voicing similar concerns.

It’s not clear yet what will become of ‘Frowning Pile of Poo.’ Final decisions on next year’s new emoji are still months away. One thing’s for sure though, form a committee, and literally, anything can become a drama.


Apple Previews Emoji Coming in iOS 11.1

On World Emoji Day, Apple provided a sneak peek at some of the emoji it was working on for iOS 11. Today, Apple revealed that the new emoji will debut in iOS 11.1:

Hundreds of new emoji, including more emotive smiley faces, gender-neutral characters, clothing options, food types, animals, mythical creatures and more, are coming to iPhone and iPad with iOS 11.1.

The first chance to try the new emoji will come in the second beta of iOS 11.1, which BuzzFeed News reports will be released on Monday, October 9th.


Apple Previews Emoji Coming to iOS 11, macOS High Sierra, and watchOS

Today marks the 4th annual World Emoji Day, which was started by Emojipedia to celebrate emoji. To mark the occasion, Apple has previewed its designs of the emoji approved as part of the Unicode 10 Standard that will be added to iOS, macOS, and watchOS later this year.

In addition, the Apple Podcasts Twitter account is tweeting emojified versions of the names of popular podcasts and iTunes Movies is featuring emojified movie titles.

For more on World Emoji Day and how it's being celebrated, check out its official website.