These are the niche emoji heading to iOS devices later this year

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Given everything that has happened globally since the beginning of the year, you may have been forgiven for forgetting that today is World Emoji Day (17th July). To celebrate the day, Apple recently previewed some of the new emoji it will be bringing to iOS devices later this year.

The Cupertino-based company is listing the Fall (Northern Hemisphere) for the release, which makes us think that the new set of emoji will likely arrive with iOS 14.

“Following Apple’s proposal to the Unicode Consortium last year to introduce more disability-themed emoji, a new guide dog, an ear with a hearing aid, wheelchairs, a prosthetic arm and a prosthetic leg will be available in the emoji keyboard,” Apple explains of the new set.

“Celebrating diversity in all its many forms is integral to Apple’s values and these new options help fill a significant gap in the emoji keyboard,” the firm adds.

Looking through the emoji preview, there are certainly some niche ones, along with a few important additions. These include the transgender symbol, seen in the header image above, as well as new icons for those with disabilities.

As Engadget points out, it remains to be seen where some of the other transgender-focused emoji are set to join iOS, but this at least a start.

There are also a few less serious options in the set, such as the pinched hand one, which most people are already calling the “Italian hands”. Added to this are things like Ninja, bubble tea, flamingo, boomerangs and Russian Dolls. As such, we can definitely see iOS users finding innovative uses for these emoji outside of what they were originally designed for.

With the US presidential elections happening in November, and fears rising that another Russian hack might be happening, the Russian doll emoji might prove helpful, for example.

Those iOS users who have also been making use of Memojis (a personalised avatar that can mimic your face), will also be interested to hear that more colour options are on the way too, along with improved tracking of facial movements and expressions.

Robin-Leigh Chetty

Robin-Leigh Chetty

When he's not reviewing the latest smartphones, Robin-Leigh is writing about everything tech-related from IoT and smart cities, to 5G and cloud computing. He's also a keen photographer and dabbles in console games.