Apple’s IOS 8.3 update on Feb. 23 has given iPhone users access to a more diverse selection of emoji characters, which are small digital images that are used to express emotions on smartphones and tablets. Now iPhone users have access to over 300 new characters, in addition to a variety of six different skin tones, same-sex relationships, and new country flags.
In the previous emoji keyboard, diversity was lacking, as there was only one race that was available but now there are many different complexions that were added to the emoji keyboard. I think the new racially diverse emojis were a change in the right direction for the Apple keyboard because it’s important that everyone has the option to express themselves with their own race, ethnicity, and gender.[pullquote align=”center”]32 new country flags have been added to the emoji keyboard, including flags for Canada, Australia, and India. I hope Apple will eventually add the flags for all countries.[/pullquote]
Same-sex relationship emojis were added, as there are some families with two mothers or two fathers. This is a step closer to acknowledging families of the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) community.
32 new country flags have also been added to the emoji keyboard, including flags for Canada, Australia, and India. I hope Apple will eventually add the flags for all countries.
All of these new emojis represent the changes that our society is experiencing and being challenged with everyday. Many people may not want to encourage racial diversity and same-sex marriage, but they are the reality of our society today. I believe these changes to the Apple keyboard are good, as they allow many people to express themselves in their own way. Now we all have the ability to send messages with emojis that best represent ourselves.
Brittany Donald is majoring in communications. She can be reached at BD760628@wcupa.