August 20, 2015 6:30 AM PT
Dreams of emoji yet to come
Warning: This story has not been updated in several years and may contain out-of-date information.
Another emoji from the early days of iOS was the Shibuya 109 emoji, which was a department store in Tokyo. It was booted out for being just a bit too specific for Unicode2 when emoji standardization was first taking place.
The emoji list on iOS has come a long way since first being introduced for the Japanese market in September of 2008. A careful look at Apple’s emoji set from iPhone OS 2.2 shows a range that looks instantly familiar, despite a number of changes over the years3.
With iOS 9 likely due for public release next month, keeping up with the latest emoji proposals, candidates, approvals and implementations can be more time consuming than it would first appear.
Each iOS 9 beta to date has included more flags than the previous version, with the latest betas supporting every single country flag listed in the ISO 3166 standard. As if that wasn’t enough, Apple went on to add flags for remote territories such as Ascension Island and Clipperton Island in the most recent developer previews.
In the past 18 months, two versions of the Unicode Standard have been approved, with the most recent being Unicode 8 in June of this year.
Apple added support for just one Unicode 7 emoji and five Unicode 8 emoji modifiers in iOS 8.3 earlier this year. These modifiers aren’t useful by themselves, but they allow modification of 60 existing emojis, covering all of the human-looking characters.
- Or this Twitter account. ↩
- Yet the Tokyo Tower Emoji remains. Go figure. ↩
- In addition to the gavel and Shibuya 109 emojis, the seashell went from being a clamshell to a spiral; the black formal shirt became the graduation cap, golf ball turned into a golf flag, and the cracking eggs (intended to represent cooking) were put in a frypan. ↩
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