Apple has been quite opinionated regarding emoji standards of late, and today its latest recommendations have been approved by the Unicode Consortium. The iPhone maker suggested earlier this month that Unicode adopt new job-related emoji for firefighters, pilots, painters, astronauts, and judges, with options for both male and female versions of each profession.
For those unaware, the Unicode Consortium is the tech industry non-profit responsible for standardizing emoji across operating systems and hardware. It includes representatives from companies like Apple, Google, and Microsoft, as well as individual members tasked with developing, reviewing, and maintaining the standards. Unicode member Jeremy Burge confirmed today that the icons Apple recommended will indeed be included in the upcoming Unicode Emoji Version 4.0 update, which also contains substantial improvements to the emoji standards’ gender diversity and skin tone options.
Apple’s recommendations built off of those proposed by Google back in May. Google’s set, which was approved in July, was designed to better represent female workers and included icons for farmers, healthcare professionals, musicians, and teachers, among other options. Apple then followed suit. In total, Unicode 4.0 will include 16 new job emoji, and 32 new icons in total when you count both male and female versions.
This is only the latest in a series of statements Apple has made with regards to emoji. When releasing a recent beta version of its upcoming iOS 10 software, the company made subtle but powerful changes to its own emoji character set. Those included replacing the handgun emoji with a squirt gun and releasing more female versions of sport and job-related icons ahead of the finalizing of the 4.0 update. And back in July, it was revealed Apple also played a critical role in killing a proposed rifle emoji. The company apparently did not feel the additional firearm emoji was neccesary and said it would not include it on iOS.