Your latest iPhone update comes with some delightfully diverse new emoji options.
Apple's iOS 10 update brings some cool new features to the table.
On Sept. 13, millions of iPhone users downloaded Apple's new iOS 10 update, bringing more than a dozen new or revamped features to the company's devices.
Some changes, such as the revamped Messages app, are bound to be appreciated more than others (sorry, Apple Music). There's one tweak, however, that users may not have even noticed: new emojis.
Yes, emojis, everyone's favorite cartoon substitution for words, got a new look in the latest update.
Nearly all of us use them (a 2015 survey found that 92% of online consumers use emojis). Whether you're tweeting, texting, shopping, or flirting, emojis are a useful way to express how you're feeling when words just don't quite get the job done.
As has been the case in previous updates, many existing emojis have been given a fresh new look. The bigger news here, however, has to do with the 100% new emojis that have been added.
For some time, people have been calling for more diverse emoji options, especially when it comes to gender. In this latest update, there's some big improvements.
Earlier this year, Always ran an ad campaign that addressed an inconvenient fact about how women were being represented in emoji-land. Even with just a quick glance, it's easy to see the problem: stereotypes. While men were shown as being detectives, police officers, construction workers, and doctors, women were represented as brides and princesses.
The latest update contains 37 new emojis — 17 of which are women.
For the most part (there are two exceptions), every emoji that was previously only available as a man is now available as a woman as well. The same goes for the emojis that used to be only women (such as the princess), which are now available as men (like the prince).
All this is in addition to the ability to change emoji skin tone — something that was made available during a previous update. Now, men, women, boys, and girls will all have equal ability to express themselves in emoji form.
Is this a solution to the world's biggest problem? Of course not, but it's still a very good thing.
It's easy to ridicule anyone who says that this type of representation doesn't really matter; it's easy to roll your eyes at this change.
There are two important things to remember, however: first, that gendered stereotypes are learned at a young age, and second, that texting is one of the most popular forms of communication for young teens.
For a full breakdown of all the new emoji options, you can check out Emojipedia's iOS 10 changelog.
Be sure to check out other new options, such as the single parent emojis and some of the revamped styles.