Emoji characters have taken off across the world in the last 5 years as an affective way of communicating through images. There are those who will tell their messages in pure Emoji fashion. With over 200 characters to choose from, what’s not to love?
An unfortunate limitation of Emojis was their lack of diversity. Different sexual orientations, skin tones, and other cultural aspects were not portrayed well within the tiny images. Apple started proposing changes to this last year, and the results of this now bare fruit in iOS 8.3’s beta releases.
For iOS 8.2 and below users, these new symbols will not work as they would in 8.3. An emoji of a family might show up as separate “man’s head, boy’s head, woman’s head, and girl’s head” as opposed to “family with woman, man, and son.” iOS can now essentially stitch multiple symbols together, and of course the representations of skin colour will not show up for earlier users either.
iOS 8.3 entered public beta on March 16, which means that it is no longer exclusive to developers or internal testers.
Interested users can click this link and join the beta program. Note that the iOS 8.3 beta might not be available right away for some, so you might have to wait. The beta program is not for everyone, however. If you are ok with sometimes having work-arounds, with having little to no support in finding those, and updating your device once or twice a month, then feel free to join. Beta users can submit feedback using a feedback app found on the home screen, allowing a more direct input into the way iOS is created.