Apple’s adjusting emoji in iOS 14.5 to promote helmet use and sell headphones

As part of iOS 14.5, Apple is updating its emoji with new variations from the Unicode Consortium’s 13.1 release, including new skin tone options for popular emoji, several new smiley faces and hearts, and some deliberate Apple redesigns.

The changes to skin tone and gender presentation are probably the most important to note. Popular emoji like “Couples Kissing” and “Couples with Heart” now have many more skin tone variations for all options.

Skin tone variations for the “Couples with Heart” emoji in iOS 14.5. Image: Emojipedia

In addition to more skin tones, the bearded emoji has also been adjusted to allow for not just the neutral “Person:Beard” but also “Man:Beard” and “Woman:Beard.”

The various beard options in iOS 14.5. Image: Emojipedia

On the more unusual side of things, Apple’s update also includes several variations on smiley faces like “Exhaling Face,” “Face with Spiral Eyes,” and the elusive “Face in Clouds.” Hearts, another emoji go-to category, also has two new members joining its ranks, “Heart on Fire” and “Mending Heart.”

Grid View <em>Exhaling face, face with spiral eyes, and face in clouds.</em>” /> Exhaling face, face with spiral eyes, and face in clouds. Image: Emojipedia <img src= A comparison between the two versions of the syringe emoji. Image: Emojipedia

Apple says all of these emoji are available in the new release of the iOS 14.5 beta, which also comes with a nice little change to the Apple Music app. According to users on Reddit running the beta, you can now add and remove music from your queue with the same kind of swiping gesture used in Apple’s Mail app to archive, delete, or flag emails.

The full release of iOS 14.5 is also said to include several other helpful additions like support for the new Xbox and PlayStation controllers, the ability to set Siri’s default music streaming service to Spotify, and the ability to unlock your phone with your Apple Watch.

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