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Apple is improving emoji gender diversity in iOS 10

Apple is improving emoji gender diversity in iOS 10


Now there are female surfers, cyclists, and swimmers

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Apple today announced new iOS emoji that show women playing more sports and performing jobs that, prior to today, only allowed for male options. The icons will be available on devices running the new iOS 10 staring this fall, the company announced in a note on its website. As it stands today, Apple's sports-related emoji and a majority of its occupational emoji show only men performing activities, which doesn't jibe at all with reality. Now, there are female options for weight lifting, basketball, and surfing, as well as new job-related emoji for female construction workers and private investigators.

The effort to redesign emoji to better represent the smartphone-using population has been underway for quite some time. Google first submitted a new set of 13 female emojis to the Unicode Consortium, the organization that oversees the inclusion of new emoji, back in May. Unicode, of which Apple and Google are both members, adopted most of the proposed icons last month. Now, Apple has apparently gone forward on its own and included variations of those redesigned icons and a handful of new emoji as well. Users of Apple's developer version of iOS 10 should see the new emoji included in the iPhone keyboard starting today.

Apple is including options for basketball, running, and weight lifting

The new set of emoji, which includes more than 100 variations when you take skin color options into account, also includes a water gun icon in place of the old revolver, a rainbow flag, and two different gender options depicting single-parent families. Apple has also introduced two male options for previously female-only emoji, including a haircut and scalp massage emoji.

"This exciting update brings more gender options to existing characters, including new female athletes and professionals, adds beautiful redesigns of popular emoji, a new rainbow flag and more family options," the company wrote in its statement. "Apple is working closely with the Unicode Consortium to ensure that popular emoji characters reflect the diversity of people everywhere."