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Why does Apple hate falafel?

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More food, more animals, and much more diverse people

Apple (left) and Google’s (right) take on the falafel emoji.
Image: Apple and Google

To celebrate World Emoji Day (which, yes, is apparently a thing now), Apple and Google have released a preview of the new emoji which will be arriving on their mobile operating systems later this year. The actual subjects of the emoji were announced by Unicode back in February, now we’re seeing how they’ll actually look in practice.

There are a couple of interesting designs in there. For example, I can’t help but think that Apple’s design for a plate of falafel kinda looks like a big pile of shit? Not human shit, and not a fun cartoony soft-serve ice cream poop like the classic Pile of Poo, but like a pile of dung from a farmyard animal. Especially when viewed at the proper emoji scale of an Instagram comment or iMessage response. Meanwhile, someone at Google has clearly actually eaten falafel at some point in their lives, and has produced a design more befitting of something you’re supposed to put in your mouth.

Apple’s butter (left) looks delicious, Google’s (right) just looks like butter.
Image: Apple and Google

However, we’re going to have to give the award for “Best design for a stick of butter” to Apple’s effort. I mean just look at it. It looks so delicious that if I saw that on a plate at a restaurant I’d be tempted to eat it by itself like a big bar of chocolate. Google’s design just doesn’t have the same appeal, nor is it as immediately identifiable.

Apple’s (left) and Google’s (right) take on the orangutan and skunk have different vibes to them.
Image: Apple and Google

When it comes to the animals, Apple and Google’s designs have really different energies to them. Google’s orangutan, for example, looks bewildered, but Apple’s is just hanging out doing orangutan stuff. Also, Google’s skunk looks super snooty, which wouldn’t bother me apart from the fact that its defining feature is producing literally the worst smell imaginable.

Manufactured outrage aside, the important thing about this emoji release are the new inclusive designs of people with disabilities, some of which Apple first proposed last year. These include people in wheelchairs, people with canes, guide dogs, hearing aids, and prosthetic limbs. The people holding hands emoji also include a more diverse set of skin tones.

The new emoji also include a diverse mix of people with disabilities, guide dogs, and prosthetic limbs.
Image: Apple

The new emoji designs will be released for iOS and Android later this year.