Apple Addresses Emoji Racism with Release of iOS 8.3 Update

Apple has rolled out the beta update of iOS 8.3 on April 8 featuring racially-diverse emojis, which directly addresses the emoji racism that was previously labelled on the iPhone’s operating system.

In addition to fixing a few bugs, Apple’s software update features emoji smiley faces with different skin tones, representing the different races around the world.

The new emojis include illustrations of families with families that also include two male parents or two female parents.

The updated emojis also include characters of various races which was already announced previously by the Unicode Consortium, which sets international rules for text and characters to ensure consistency across all platform.

Supporting diversity

Apple has not made any official statement about the emoji update although earlier this year, the American tech giant released a statement to the media that it supports and cares deeply about diversity.

Tim Cook, the Apple chief executive officer, came out in public in October last year to officially state that he is proud to be gay, amid speculations on his sexual preferences.

In March, Tim Cook was among the technology industry leaders who denounced bills and laws in several states in the US that promote discrimination and erode equality. The Apple CEO has been a staunch supporter in the promotions of LBGT rights not only in the tech industry, but in other sectors of society.

Before the new set of emojis, Apple iPhone and iPad users all over the world have been so used to using the typical Japanese pictures to communicate emotions. The word emoji, after all, came from Japan.

Other new features of the iOS 8.3

Snapchat also uses the new emojis to rank the level of the user’s friendships, reports the Mirror. Apple has likewise replaced the wristwatch emoji with an image of the upcoming Apple Watch.

A prolonged press on a particular emoji will give the user an option to choose a different skin color. The last color that the user used for an emoji will remain as the default color until he specifically changes it again.

The new emojis can be found in the ‘Keyboards’ option once the iOS 8.3 update is downloaded over-the-air through the Settings menu on the iPhone or the iPad.

The other major new feature of the iOS 8.3 includes the ability to use the CarPlay feature wirelessly. If a vehicle for instance supports CarPlay, the user no longer needs to plug his iPhone to get music or directions at the center display. The app will automatically be playable on the mobile device.


The new mobile operating system shall also enable Wi-Fi calling for end-to-end customers and allow them to capitalize on the network’s new scheme in using Wi-Fi to be able to avoid dropped calls.

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