Apple has announced it will add new emoji characters across Apple devices later this year. While many iPhone users may not be aware of World Emoji Day, Apple marked the occasion on July 17 by highlighting some new emoji coming to iOS, macOS and watchOS in the fall. The company is also showcasing fun emoji apps on the App Store and replacing some movie titles on iTunes with emoji.
There are already thousands of emoji available on the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, however last month the Unicode Consortium announced 56 new characters including Zombie, Vampire, T-Rex, Bitcoin, Face Vomiting and Exploding Head. The list goes on with additional animals, creatures and smiley faces such as Bearded Person, Person Climbing, Coconut, Breastfeeding, Woman with Headscarf, Zebra, Elf and more.
Apple is expected to release the new emoji with iOS 11 in September, alongside the iPhone 7s and iPhone Edition. In addition to the 56 characters, many of these will come in different skin tones and genders, bringing the total count of new characters to 239. Apple often adds new emoji as part of iOS updates. One notable update was two years ago with iOS 8.3, which included hundreds of new emoji, vastly expanding the number of iOS keyboard characters.
Back in 2012, iPhone users outside of Japan needed an app to unlock emoji characters. Apple finally rendered these apps useless by including native emoji support in the iOS 6 keyboard. Since then, the selection of emoji characters has continued to expand.