Genies, exploding heads, and zebras, oh my!
While we've seen renderings of Emoji 5.0, the 56 new icons approved by the Unicode Consortium earlier this year, this is the first official look at the symbols as they'll appear on iPhones, Apple Watches, and Macs. Because fonts vary from one platform to the next, how emoji appear on Android versus iOS products differs, as does Twitter versus Facebook and other sites.
Although the 12 emoji that Apple previews in today's blog post look similar to many speculative designs, there are some differences. A breastfeeding mother smiles down at her baby instead of simply looking stoic; the T-Rex is a friendly green fellow rather than a brownish creature; the zebra has an entire body not just a head; the yogi has perfectly crossed legs, not uncrossed ones; and, most notably, the exploding head has actual chunks breaking off, not just a mushroom-shaped cloud hanging above. Overall, each of the emoji is far more detailed than the original artists' renderings.
Also shown in the preview are a zombie, elf queen, genie, sandwich, coconut, starstruck face, bearded man, puking face, eye-roll face, and a woman wearing a headscarf. Apple notes that this group of icons introduces more diversity to the expressive icons than ever before. Unicode's introduction of skin colours two years ago was an important first step, but this version shows even greater inclusion.
Unfortunately, Apple does not give any clue as to when these emoji will come to iPhones other than to say it will be sometime later this year. If past history holds true, it will likely drop with a new version of iOS sometime in November.
In the meantime, you can try out many of the new emoji online at Twitter, where they've already been added. Until then, while holding out for the yogi emoji on your iPhone, take a deep breath and say "om."