On April 8th, a day to be remembered for at least a couple of minutes, Apple released an update to iOS and OS X. There are some lesser improvements addressed (something about WiFi calls and improved performance), but we all know why they did it. I am, of course, talking about the new emojis.
Apple’s update included over 300 new emojis. Which is great, ‘cause I was getting really tired of having to use words in my texts. Emojis are the reason we soon won’t need to read. Like, ever again. Just imagine if you were enjoying this article by only looking at emojis. Do you see that on the ceiling? It’s your brain ‘cause I just blew your mind.
One of the biggest hurdles to communicating entirely with emojis was that there was no diversity among skin tone. Which is weird, considering the Unicode standard came out in 2010. You literally couldn’t text someone Obama was re-elected via emoji without being inappropriate or adding actual text! Thankfully, this was one of the things addressed with Emojipalooza 2K15 (feel free to use that term to refer to the update henceforth).
The default color of emojis is now bright yellow, and you can tap and hold to change the skin tone, from a range based on a scale that’s a recognized standard used by dermatologists.
The first thing I did when I updated was finally text my friend my super amazing tale of my run-in with ethnically-ambiguous Santa. The second thing I tried to text was my super-amazing tale of my run-in with green aliens. And that’s when I saw the truth of Apple’s clever lie. How they said “Look, you can add a multitude of skin tones” just to get people off their back. People. Go ahead. Try to change the skin tone of the alien. YOU CAN’T. Right, ‘cause any and all non-human species are gray. I scoff at that! Does Apple not remember a small being who tried to phone home (and made Drew Barrymore’s career take off)? A small kinda yellowy-brownish being!? Did Apple choose to forget that the alien chasing Sigourney Weaver was decidedly black?
The more I dug into this “progressive” update, the more flaws I found. Take ghosts for instance. Everyone knows ghosts are the soul of a dead person or animal. Can you make an animal ghost emoji? Why no, of course you can’t! If I text my friend to inform him that I just saw a ghost dog, wouldn’t you think it’s important to make that distinction? I mean I’d have to type . By that point the ghost dog would’ve already mauled my soul and taken over my body. And don’t get me started about the poop. Sure everybody poops, but my poop sure as sh*t ‘aint that color all the time. Hell, it rarely even smiles at me (normally it’s more of an indifferent face).
What’s worse is the diversity in the families. Now, I’m going to sidestep the whole blatant shout out to The Simpsons in color palette choice. I’ll focus more on the range of colors, or the lack thereof. What, so there’s no inter-tonal families in default emojiland? What’s a guy gotta do to see a yellow father with a blue mother and a beautiful green child? (Note my adherence to color theory!)
Who knows, maybe I am being a tad hyperbolic. Maybe this is just the way it has to be. You have to increase emoji diversity in baby steps. So this guy for one will be waiting with bated breath for update 8.4, in the hopes that he can finally text that his inter-tonal family had a green poop after a ghost dog possessed a brown alien.