June 17, 2014
The Unicode Consortium has just updated the Unicode Standard to version 7.0. Unicode 7.0 introduces thousands of new characters, including new emoji or pictographic symbols that may be added to future versions of iOS. According to the Unicode Consortium, "Most of the new emoji characters derive from characters in long-standing and widespread use in Wingdings and Webdings fonts." See the image above for several examples of the newly added emoji characters, which total around 250. Unicode 7.0 also includes new currency symbols for the Russian ruble and the Azerbaijani manat, many other symbols, and new lesser-used and historic scripts. Emoji was officially integrated by Apple into its mobile operating system with the introduction of an emoji international keyboard in iOS 5 in 2011. The following year, Apple’s emoji set was updated in iOS 6 with new characters, notably supporting the LGBT community with the addition of icons depicting gay and lesbian couples. Earlier this year, Apple said that it had been working with the Unicode Consortium to update the Unicode Standard with more diversity in the emoji character set. The standard's 7.0 update, however, doesn't appear to include Apple's planned changes. In any case, as noted by The Verge, Apple, like any other Unicode member company, will need to implement the new standard by developing pictographs to represent the new emoji, which are only verbally described by Unicode. Some, if not all, of the new emoji may soon be included by Apple in iOS 8. For what it's worth, as listed in Emojipedia, the new emoji set includes a variety of objects and even a "reversed hand with middle finger extended."