According to a report released on Tuesday, Apple is planning to bring more diversity in the basic range of emoji characters used in iOS. Apple has decided to take this step after receiving criticism from Miley Cyrus and actor Tahj Mowry who claimed that the keyboard lacks ethnic diversity. Emojis were first introduced in Japan as an alternative to text-based emoticons, that have become pervasive in messaging plus the icons can quickly convey feelings with a picture instead of words. Although more than 800 texting icons are available including eggplants, bloody needles, airplane chairs and snails, but none of them show much ethnic diversity.
MTV Act blogger Joey Parker emailed Apple CEO Tim Cook about the issue and got response from Katie Cotton, Apple’s vice president of worldwide corporate communications. In her reply she said:
“Our emoji characters are based on the Unicode standard, which is necessary for them to be displayed properly across many platforms. There needs to be more diversity in the emoji character set, and we have been working closely with the Unicode Consortium in an effort to update the standard,”
Despite the fact that emoji first became popular in Japan, Unicode’s current list only features two Asian people. Emojis aren’t something Apple creates. Since Unicode provides the options and standards on emojis for several tech companies (including Microsoft and Google), it ultimately will decide on any new ones and when they would be rolled out. At this point we don’t have any official word regarding the availability of this update.