Over a hundred new emojis are on deck to arrive in the coming weeks, including six brand new designs such as a fiery phoenix, a lime wedge, a broken chain, and a (nonpoisonous!) mushroom and an overhaul of all family options. Selected from the Unicode Consortium’s September 2023 recommendations, the latest additions are currently only available for developers in iOS 17.4 beta 1, but are expected to issue with the final iOS 17.4 public release, likely sometime in March or April 2024, according to Emojipedia.
[Related: Meet the newest Apple emojis: a goose, a moose, and another pink heart.]
A couple of extra smiley faces will find their way onto users’ devices this spring—one indicating an affirmative, up-and-down headshake, while the other conveys a negative, side-to-side motion. According to Emojipedia, however, the majority of the latest batch focuses on “new direction-specifying versions of six existing people emojis” which tally up to 108 emojis once all five skin tones and three gender options are accounted for.
It’s been nearly a year since users last saw a new class of emojis. In February 2023, Emojipedia confirmed a moose, a ginger root, and a goose, among many others. As is the case with every such announcement, the latest designs could see some final tweaks before their public release later this spring—such as past alterations for the troll and peach emojis.
Perhaps the most noticeable changes are the revamped family designs, which replace their more detailed, colorful renderings with white silhouettes overlaid atop a bluish slate square icon. While not as precise as the current iterations, removing minutiae like hair styles, colors, and facial shapes should both make the options more inclusive, as well as simpler to select from for users.
How are emojis chosen?
The process for determining new emojis is surprisingly complex. A potential addition’s journey begins with the Unicode Consortium, an international body tasked with helping oversee the standardization and implementation of multilingual text and imagery updates. Anyone can submit their own original emoji ideas following these guidelines, which Unicode then reviews and narrows down the options. From there, card-carrying consortium members (who annually shell out $21,000 for the privilege) vote on a final suite of emojis, which then move on to final designing and integration before arriving in regularly scheduled software updates.
While you may not get the chance to strut your stuff with a phoenix text until later this spring, impatient emoji aficionados can look ahead to what may come next to their keyboards. According to Emojipedia, you could soon see a shovel, a leafless tree, as well as a likely very relatable “Face with Bags Under Eyes.”