Apple brings some diversity to its emoji

Emoji for all.
Emoji for all.
Image: Reuters/Cathal McNaughton
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Apple’s next release of its Mac OS X Yosemite operating system is going to be a little more inclusive.

The updated beta of OS X 10.10.3, released Feb. 23, reportedly offers emoji in multiple skin tones. Up to now, emoji—the ones depicting humans and human body parts, anyway—had come in just one shade of white.

According to The Next Web, users can select a different skin tone by holding down on an emoji, similar to how you can select an accented version of a letter in OS X.

The update also appears to include family icons featuring emoji people in same-sex relationships. But it appears Apple’s inclusiveness only extends so far—there are no interracial emoji pairs, and no new versions of the twin dancers emoji (that’s still an all-female activity, apparently).

The new skin tones appear to come in six shades, which presumably are supposed to represent all of humanity, though it seems unlikely that anyone other than The Simpsons and sufferers of jaundice will find the yellow shade personally representative:

Apple also has updated the watch icon to match the look of its soon-to-launch Apple Watch. But it doesn’t appear to have updated the icons for theor TV (which Apple can’t seem to get right) or the car (although perhaps this will change if Apple develops a car of its own).

These same new diverse emoji are apparently appearing in the prerelease version of iOS 8 as well, though no release dates have been set by Apple for either its Mac or mobile operating systems yet.

Quartz has reached out to Apple for more information on its new options and will update this post as warranted.