July 17th is World Emoji Day 🎉🎉🎉 and, to commemorate, Google and Apple have revealed some samples of the new emojis to be released later this year. The notable additions that have caught people's attention are the disability-themed ones featuring prosthetic limbs, deaf signing, wheelchairs, canes, and service dogs. These new emoji were first proposed to the Unicode Consortium by Apple last year in an effort to celebrate diversity "in all its many forms" and "fill a significant gap in the emoji keyboard."
The Unicode Consortium, a non-profit organization that maintains emoji icons (and more) that are used all over the world, approved the proposal and has scheduled them as part of a bundle of new 59 emojis for the upcoming version 12.0 update. The update will also come with 171 variants for skin tone and gender, bringing the total to 230 emoji overall.
This collection of new additions also features other fun emoji that tell quite a story on their own — an axe for nefarious purposes; a drop of red blood as a result of the axe; and a band-aid to cover up the bleeding. Wood-chopping gone wrong, perhaps?
By the way, if you're one of many who welcome the arrival of a red blood emoji, you can give credit to Plan International UK. The organization typically advocates for children's rights and girl's rights, and pushed for an emoji that could, more directly, refer to a menstrual period.
"Emojis play a crucial role in our digital and emotional vocabulary, transcending cultural and country barriers," said the organization's digital strategy and development manager, Carmen Carlow, in a statement to NPR. "A period emoji can help normalize periods in everyday conversation."
According to NPR, the drop of blood was also co-proposed by NHS Blood and Transplant to convince the Unicode Consortium into making it an official emoji with multiple uses.
A batch of new animal emoji also arrive in version 12.0. There's an adorable otter you can send to your significant otter. A cute orangutan also made the cut, though it looks more bewildered on Android than on Apple.
But, more importantly, is the sloth. The ultimate creature that accurately expresses how it feels to stay in bed on a quiet weekend. It'll also have so many uses; if anyone accuses you of being slow, you know what to send them. Sloth. If someone tells you to "hang in there," you've got the sloth. If your friend is taking their sweet time, send in the sloths.
Some new food additions include items such as a garlic, an onion, a waffle, a plate of falafel, and a stick of butter. At this rate, you could probably make a good shopping list that's purely emoji-based.
Also, as an aside, one of the possible keywords for the waffle is "indecisive," which is kind of perfect. It makes me want to send it to anyone who can't make up their mind, but I'm not sure if they'd get the meaning.
Finally, there's some new clothes and a face emoji. Version 12.0 will introduce a sari, one-piece swimsuit, a safety vest... and briefs. Yes, there is underwear. Experts in emoji hieroglyphic translations will surely find a good use for that one, I'm sure.
The new face emoji is a yawning one, which can either accompany the sloth emoji or stand alone as a icon of someone's permanent state of being. The yawning emoji might have too many good uses, though, and others are already anticipating its inclusion in various social media slapfights.
There's no release date 📆 for version 12.0, but Apple has mentioned these new emoji will be available in the fall of this year. On the flip-side, Engadget reported that Android users will have to wait for Google to release Android Q to the public before these emoji are available to them. Android Q is expected for release sometime in the fall of this year, as well.