Emoji have always been a pretty divisive subject, especially some people don’t really see the point in their use or existence. Apple has been ahead of the curve in working new and more diverse emoji into its operating systems. Today, version 8.0 of the Unicode emoji standard was put in place, addressing some long-standing complaints and omissions.
In the last year, Apple raised the issue of emoji diversity to the Unicode Consortium, which agreed it was important to include more than one yellow skin tone. At that time, the Consortium put out a draft proposal for Unicode 8.0 that included skin tone modifiers as the main new additions to the Unicode emoji standard. Starting in iOS 8.3 and OS X 10.10.3, Apple was the first to include the new modifier in its emoji keyboards.
Of course, while these new skin tone selections are the most notable addition to emoji with version 8.0, they are not the only big change. There are a few new faces, including nerd face (complete with glasses) and face with head bandage. There are also some new animals (including a unicorn), food (finally there’s a taco emoji!), and emoji for a variety of places of worship. Finally, Canadians can sleep soundly tonight knowing that one of the new sports emoji in this new standard is a hockey stick and puck.
Some of these, like the skin tone modifiers, are already available on Apple’s platforms, but for now, most of you will need to pester your OS developer of choice to implement this new standard.