Emojis are a relatively recent phenomenon that allows us to convey our feelings and words through fun images rather than words. The pool of emojis has rapidly expanded from just a few smiley faces to a massive selection of pretty much anything you can think of. The Unicode Consortium — the organization responsible for adding and approving new emojis — has recently added new and updated collections to the iOS 12 emojis, set for release in 2018.

iOS 12 Emojis
Image source: Apple Inc (Screenshot)

This list from the Unicode Consortium will likely make its debut sometime in fall of next year, coinciding with the release of Apple’s new iPhone operating system update. The list of new iOS 12 emojis included with the blog posts is still tentative and subject to change, but there are some great inclusions that have emoji users psyched for the impending release of this brand new list.

iOS 12 Emojis

There are many emojis of various kinds being added, but perhaps most notable is the inclusion of redheads and bald icons. Those with red hair and no hair were previously left behind despite a huge amount of emojis being released over the years. While it’s exciting to finally see it included with the new iOS 12 emojis, it still has people wondering why this process took so long.

Emojis have long since expanded beyond simple funny faces, and the Unicode Consortium list includes tons of inanimate objects too. Some are a little weird, like a broom and a pile of bricks, but the addition of a pirate flag is sure awesome. These upcoming updates build upon recent additions like a swan, badger, and infinity icon added to the list last month.

Most notable for the redheads and bald people joining the party, however, are the following 7 emojis:

  • Man, Red Haired
  • Man, Curly Haired
  • Man, Bald
  • Woman, Red Haired
  • Woman, Curly Haired
  • Woman, Bald

This most recent list is the latest iteration of an ongoing discussion on what should be included in the upcoming update. Some emojis that didn’t make the cut include “Grinning Face With Letters OK As Eyes,” “Frowning Pile Of Poo,” and “Frowning Face With Question Marks As Eyes.” While this is unfortunate for users who want to text a picture of a dismayed pile of poop, it’s nice to know that the list is being continually updated to best reflect a combination of efficiency and the needs of their audience.

Reversible Emoji

Another interesting feature that may actually be more exciting than the addition of these new iOS 12 emojis is the capability to use reversible emojis. This may not seem super significant, but when these icons are interspersed throughout a text message, sometimes flipping an emoji around can give a sentence a different, or more clear meaning.

Now published is a proposed update to TR-51, which is Unicode’s emoji documentation:

“Emoji with glyphs that face to the right or left may face either direction, according to vendor preference. However, that can cause a definite change in meaning when exchanging text across platforms. The following ZWJ mechanism can be used to pick an explicit direction.”

According to the statement above, it seems as if not every emoji will be flippable. Vendors will have to choose which options they’d like to offer, but we see very little reason why both “flips” of each emoji shouldn’t be included. Emojis are a great way to add a little extra flavor and humor to text messages, and having them work more flexibly will make for a better experience overall.

In a statement to Emojipedia, Unicode President Mark Davis stated that “Final decisions about the 2018 emoji list will be made at the Unicode Technical Meeting in January, with details to be published by the end of Q1 2018.”

With the final list not yet nailed down and Apple’s new operating system still a ways out, it looks as if we could be waiting almost an entire year to get our hands on this collection of new iOS 12 emojis. Still, it’s fun to peruse the list and imagine what the combination of new icon options and the added ability to flip your emojis will allow you to accomplish in texts to your family and friends.

If you can’t stand the long wait till the release of iOS 12, you can at least get a sense of what may be coming by keeping an eye on the Unicode Consortium’s emoji candidates list. The included emoji is sure to go through several changes before the final meeting in January, so check back frequently!

Developers can now access Emoji 11.0 data files from Unicode in order to test and provide feedback. With the new addition of the reversible technology, these new emojis are likely to take a little bit longer to implement than previous releases. A year’s time should be more than enough to get things up and running, however, and the rest of us can expect a big expansion in our iOS 12 emojis as soon as Apple rolls out the new update.