As human communication becomes increasingly reliant on emojis, the need for a bigger dictionary, so to speak, increases accordingly. When you speak with pictures, there needs to be a picture that represents what you want to say. That need is what prompted Apple to add more than 100 new and redesigned emojis to iOS 10, including ones that bring more gender diversity to the existing characters.
Currently, most of the sports emojis only show men performing the activities, albeit a man with long hair that you know some designer created to be intentionally ambiguous. In iOS 10, which will release in the fall, explicitly female emojis will be included among the options for running, mountain biking, surfing, weightlifting, and playing basketball.
The change also extends to career-based emojis. The detective and construction worker emojis will have new female options, because sleuthing knows no gender. In its statement, Apple said that the company is “working closely with the Unicode Consortium to ensure that popular emoji characters reflect the diversity of people everywhere.” Unicode is the organization that oversees emoji. Google, a member of Unicode along with Apple, had previously submitted more female icons last month.
Gender diversity wasn’t the only social issue that Apple addressed with its new emojis. Violence was also part of the update: the revolver icon will be removed and be replaced with a far less aggressive water pistol.