Apple just made your device a whole lot more inclusive with the addition of 300 new racially diverse emojis. You’d think that would be universally regarded as a great thing, right? Not so fast.
The Cupertino company has released its latest operating system update, iOS 8.3, to the public. Along with your typical bug fixes comes an updated emoji keyboard with 300 new characters — everything from families with same-sex couples to racially diverse faces are now among your emoji choices.
The update also includes additional languages for Siri, including Russian, Danish, Dutch (these really are two distinct languages — I Googled it), Thai, Swedish and Portuguese, and flags from 32 new countries.
Here’s how to get your own racially diverse emojis for your next text:
1. Update your Apple device software to iOS 8.3. You can do this by hooking up your device to iTunes or by manually getting the software update under “Settings” and “Software Update.”
2. Now hit the globe button on the keyboard, and find the emoji keyboard. If your emoji keyboard isn’t enabled, go to “Settings,” “General,” “Keyboards,” and then “Add New Keyboard.”
3. To start adding your cool, new, racially diverse emojis to your texts, find the face you want to use, and then “long-press” the face. From there, five additional skin colors to choose from should pop up.
4. Once you’ve selected a particular skin tone for your emoji, that color rather than yellow will become your default.
But even 300 new emojis weren’t enough to satisfy every Apple user.
Redheads are feeling a little left out
Also, I updated my iOS and while I'm loving the racially diverse emojis, WHERE is the ginger one?! Sort out your priorities, Apple.
— Rory Boyle (@MrRoryBoyle) April 9, 2015
But LEGO people are now included
Others are worried the racially diverse emojis are going to be co-opted by racists
The "racially diverse" emoji, while well-intentioned, are a really bad idea. They'll be abused and exploited by racists in a heartbeat.
— The Notorious R.A.E. (@RaeWhitlock) April 9, 2015
Sure, much of the criticism of Apple’s new racially diverse emojis is just a bit of fun, but it’s pretty crazy that something as innocent as adding more diversity into emoji communication could possibly stir up controversy.
What do you think of Apple’s new emojis? Will you add them to your texts? Are you disappointed by an emoji that was left out of the update?