Apple introduces inclusive emojis including gender-neutral characters

29 October 2019, 19:38

Apple has introduced disability emojis
Apple has introduced disability emojis. Picture: Twitter @chloeltear
Sylvia De Luca

By Sylvia De Luca

Apple has released almost 400 new characters focusing on inclusion and diversity, including gender-neutral and disability-themed emoji options.

In recent years, Apple has been on a push to offer more diverse emoji, such as different skin tones, occupations and flags.

Apple users who download the iOS 13.2 update on a compatible device will find icons showing hearing aids, wheelchairs, prosthetic limbs and guide dogs.

The company said it had consulted with organisations for people with disabilities when submitting the proposal.

Gender neutral emoji options have also been added so that users will no longer just have the choice between male and female.

The gender neutral emojis tend to have mid-length hair and include a merperson.

Other new emojis include a period emoji that has been created to make it easier for women and girls to talk about their periods to break down stigma surrounding the topic.

Girls' rights and children's charity Plan International UK tweeted: "It’s time to celebrate the blood drop emoji's arrival!"

Another new Apple feature makes it easier to select multiple skin tones in a single emoji.

iPhone and iPad users can access the new emoji by opening their Settings app, selecting General and then Software Update before confirming the installation of iOS 13.2.