It’s time folks, Apple’s new emojis are here – it’s time to get creative and talk to your friends using new, barely relevant images, which somehow always seem rude.
Among the new batch of emojis are an angry face, a head of broccoli, a snow-sled, a mountain climber, and – most controversially – a genderless person.
The genderless emoji is available in a range of races and ages, which allows non-binary iPhone users to comfortably use emojis to express themselves.
The new slate of emojis were announced on ‘World Emoji Day’ back in July, though the emojis are only being made available next week on iPhone and iPad.
Only those with the latest update will have access to the new batch, so be sure to update to iOS 11.1, according to Apple.
Emojis have become somewhat of a culture phenomenon with many politicians and brands attempting to use them to identify with younger audiences, to varied success.
For those who don’t know, emojis are little colourful images which either accentuate or completely replace written communication between two people online.
They have become so prominent in everyday life even academics are in debate about whether we are seeing the advent of a new language – and a universal one at that.
An emoji was even picked as Oxford Dictionaries’ Word of the Year in 2015, more specifically the crying laughing emoji.
Oxford Dictionaries had this to say:
That’s right – for the first time ever, the Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year is a pictograph.
Officially called the ‘Face With Tears of Joy’ emoji, though you may know it by other names.
There were other strong contenders from a range of fields, outlined below, but [the emoji] was chosen as the word that best reflected the ethos, mood, and preoccupations of 2015.
Such is their power among millennials, Hillary Clinton attempted to use emojis to try and reach out to younger voters during her 2016 Presidential campaign.
There has even been a Hollywood film dedicated to the little images which imagined emojis’ inner emotional life – the film was a critical and financial flop, but the fact a film was even made about emojis shows their power in pop culture.
But one of the men behind creating emojis actually sees the massive limits of the pictures. He doesn’t see it as a language.
He told The New York Times:
I can tell you, using language, I need to go get a haircut, but only if I can get there by 3pm, and otherwise I have to pick up the kids.
You try to express that in emoji and you get a series of symbols that people could interpret in a thousand different ways.
The process for new emojis making their way to screens begins with a consortium of high-standing figures in the computing industry, think the likes of Apple and Google.
These people decide what makes it to our phone screens based on usefulness and popularity and they also make sure there is a universal code which ensures the emojis show up across different devices.
The group meet quarterly to discuss matters of punctuation, language, and now recently – the emoji.
So we have those mysterious people to thank for all the hilarious group chats.
Keep up the good work, guys.