New Emojis Despite Coronavirus
Written by Kay Ewbank   
Friday, 25 September 2020

With Unicode 14.1 delayed because of Coronavirus, it looked as though we were going to be deprived of a new crop of emojis to puzzle over, but good news - there's going to be a minor emoji release for 2021.

When the Unicode Consortium announced it was delaying Unicode 14.0 by six months due to Covid-19, that had a side-effect of pushing the crop of emojis that would have been released in 2021 forward as well to 2022. In a 'normal' year, the new emojis are usually approved in January, and the various platforms then work on them until September when they are released on the updated versions of iOS and Android that appear around then.

emoji2021eyes

However, recognizing what a blow no new emojis would be to a world already in crisis, the Unicode Consortium has announced that thanks to some hard work by a few dedicated volunteers, we'll benefit from a minor release of 217 new emojis ready for 2021.

Most of the new emojis are new skintone variants, and there are in fact just seven actual new emojis:

emoji2021

These start with a heart on fire and a mending heart with a bandage round it. Next come a gender-neutral person with a beard and a woman with beard. These join the man with beard emoji that was already included in the collection of emojis.  The final three new emojis are a face exhaling, a face in the clouds, and a face with spiral eyes. Say what you like about the Unicode Consortium, the new additions pretty much sum up 2020 in a nutshell.

Most of the skin tone variants are for the multi-person emoji groupings, couples with heart and couples kissing. Until now, the couples were mainly the default "yellow" skin tone for both, but the updated versions give the choice of other skin tones, which seems only reasonable.

 emoji2021eyes

More Information

Unicode Consortium

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