Breastfeeding mothers, women wearing hijabs, and gender neutral individuals are about to be officially recognized ... as emoji.
They’ll be joined by much-anticipated expressions, such as ‘swear face’ and ‘mind-blown,’ food including broccoli and dumplings, fantasy figures like vampires and zombies, and the last remaining heart in the colour rainbow when Apple releases its latest software update next week.
Even a bearded man and yoga masters will make an appearance for the hipster crowd.
The new additions are part of a 2017 emoji update decided upon by emoji non-profit governing body, the Unicode Consortium, who sets the global standard for the colorful characters and ensures they can work across software platforms.
But the Apple updates will arrive at a challenging time for emoji, amid claims a Facebook-owned app has stolen the iPhone company’s thunder, and amid less blob-shaped emoji from Google.
Apple offered a sneak peek at its new emoji in July, timed for World Emoji Day, but the company will formally release its new designs inside developer and beta software for Apple iPhones and iPads next week.
The iOS 11.1 download will unlock cartoon-like characters including a woman breastfeeding a baby, fairies of both genders, dinosaurs and zebras, three gender neutral characters of different hair colours and ages, and a woman wearing a purple headscarf.
The latter made the cut following the success of The Hijab Emoji Project launched by 15-year-old German teenager Rayouf Alhumedhi who could not find an emoji that represented her.
The emoji smiley face will also adopt more expressions in this generation, including star struck, investigative (complete with monocle), and a vomiting emoji that appears to have eaten too much salad.
Emojipedia founder Jeremy Burge said vomiting face, along with the giraffe and sauropod dinosaur, had generated the most discussion from the site’s users.
“Personally, I’m looking forward to the new shushing face, and the face with the raised eyebrow,” he said. “I feel like these fill some gaps in my emoji communications range.”
The fifth generation of emoji will contain up to 69 new characters, according to Emojipedia, bringing the total number of approved emoji to 2666 as of June.
But Apple’s new release might have been spoiled somewhat by Facebook-owned WhatsApp, which released what appear to be copycat versions of Apple’s new emoji designs this week, including the new additions such as wizards and zombies.
Both new emoji releases also follow Google’s redesign of its much-criticised blob-shaped emoji, with slicker, redesigned emoji featuring in Android Oreo software on its new Pixel 2 smartphones revealed this week.
This story originally appeared in news.com.au.