Last week the Unicode Consortium agreed on 157 new emoji that will be released as part of Unicode 11. There are 77 ‘new’ emoji but with various skin tones available there will be 157 new ways of expressing yourself in emoji form coming soon!
What is Unicode
Simply put Unicode is a computing standard which allows for use with different languages. Every letter, digit or symbol is assigned a unique numeric value which can be applied across different platforms. This can then be built into an applet and can present a user with these numeric values as a character. For example, U+0041 is the Unicode text form of a capital ‘A’. From a user point of view, everything is simple, you just see a character or emoji presented to type or read. From a programmer perspective when an application component uses Unicode, all symbols needed by the application for reading and writing characters reside in a single code. This simplifies the application development process.
Each emoji works the same with an underlying value underneath. This creates a standardisation which allows cross-platform integration between services. Whatsapp, Messenger, iMessage all have the same emoji sets available and no matter which operating system you are on you will see the same emoji. Technically there are applications out there that create customer emoji or sticker packs which will only be available within that app. This is due to custom code within that application that supports the custom characters but utilising Unicode in your system creates a universal base to work between platforms.
Superheroes, baldness and skateboarding?
Back to the fun part, what new emoji are coming? To name a few; there will be new male and female faces with red hair, curly hair, grey hair and no hair or baldness.
Several additions to what I refer to as the emotional category there are new male and female superhero and supervillain options. A face with a party hat along with hot and cold faces, woozy and pleading faces.
Emojis for well-known activities such as sewing, knitting, lacrosse, softball, frisbee, chess, and skateboarding.
No emoji updates come without additions to the animal and food category, last year we saw new dinosaur additions. This year we will be seeing a kangaroo, parrot, peacock, swan, badger, llama, lobster, hippopotamus, racoon, and mosquito.
New food options include a bagel, lettuce, mango, and cupcake, among others. While new objects range from a fire extinguisher and test tube to a toilet paper roll and sponge. There are even a pirate flag and an infinity symbol.
When can I get my hands on them?
The updated Unicode 11 due being released in the summer. Updates to iOS include the new Unicode in the autumn. Android and Windows updates are usually available around a similar time.< Back to Blog