The introduction of emoji to the Apple iOS keyboard in 2011 has been a pretty big game changer in the world of online communication, so it seems only reasonable that there'd be a whole day dedicated to honoring it. Monday, July 17 is considered World Emoji Day, and to celebrate, Apple has released a preview of new emoji coming to iOS, macOS and watchOS. The tech giant said that the update will "make it easier for users to express themselves with greater diversity, additional animals and creatures," but the new emoji include one very long-awaited addition that will surely be a fixture for many millennial moms.
The emojis teased by Apple look pretty cool — they include a zombie and a T-Rex, and food-related icons like a sandwich and a coconut. There are also two new smiley face emojis, an exploding head and a pretty intense vomit emoji, that will no doubt come in very handy when it comes to the wordless expression of emotion online. But there will also be new people emoji as well, including a bearded man, a meditating yogi, a woman wearing a hijab, and — finally — a mom breastfeeding her baby.
It's honestly hard to believe that it's taken so long for a breastfeeding emoji to actually happen, especially because a smartphone is often a breastfeeding mom's best friend (particularly in the early days, when it feels like you are nursing pretty much non-stop). But Apple has been pretty slow to release any mom-related images: according to Macworld it wasn't until the iOS 10.2 update in December 2016 that users were even given a pregnant woman emoji. But that doesn't mean we haven't had other options of course: a year ago, a group of moms opted to release their own emoji app for parents, called EmojiMom, giving users a variety of breastfeeding and pregnancy-related emoji. And various breastfeeding emoji have been available online for anyone looking to copy and paste.
Unfortunately, the new emoji won't be available until later this year, but chances are users will be looking forward to them. According to Emojipedia though, Apple still might have a long way to go before users feel totally satisfied with their emoji options: in June, the website compiled a list of the top 40 requested emoji it has seen over the past year, and none of Apple's new images appeared to make the list.
What did make the cut? Emoji fans seem to be longing for a variety of new people emoji, including an afro emoji, a redhead emoji, and emojis for those with curly hair. Other requests include a smiley face wearing a party hat, a sloth emoji, and a slew of food-related items, like cupcakes, takeaway coffee, and white wine.
Back in the pre-emoji days, it likely would have seemed weird to think that little text icons could become as integral to our online conversations as they actually have. But now it's pretty clear that emoji are life — and the more we have, the better.