When Apple first released the new emoji support in iOS 12.1 beta 2, many were quick to criticize the bagel. “What midwestern bagel factory did this bagel come out of?” asked Nikita Richardson of Grub Street.
Today Apple released beta 4 of iOS 12.1, and the bagel design has changed.
One challenge for the bagel emoji may have been that it's tough to make any bagel look appetizing without some kind of filling. While this update may not please those who prefer bagels with different contents, it does seem closer to what people want to consume.
🎙 "You might not know this but people have opinions about bagels" - @jsnell and @jeremyburge discuss bagel-emoji-gate and what exactly *would* a good bagel emoji look like? https://t.co/HqvAls4n4S pic.twitter.com/GhBCOlcpOW— Emoji Wrap 🌯 (@EmojiWrap) October 11, 2018
As with all emojis, depictions of the bagel emoji vary by vendor. While the bagel's cousin the 🍩 Doughnut generally appears with chocolate frosting, WhatsApp shows this as a strawberry flavor instead.
Designs from major vendors until now had been split on whether to include a filling in the bagel or not. Arguably, a bagel with cream cheese is a different item to simply a “bagel”, however as each emoji generally represents an entire class of objects, that's unlikely to be an issue in practice.
At the time of writing, there are a variety of bagels on offer on various platforms: some plain and sliced, and others with cream-cheese, some also with sesame seeds on top as well.
Provided each vendor design conveys the concept of a bagel in a sufficiently clear way, the job of the emoji is done. The rest comes down to personal taste - both literally, and in a design-sense.
Twitter design lead Bryan Haggerty ran us through the process of designing the Twemoji bagel, shown above alongside other vendor designs.
“We had first started with simply one half of a sliced bagel, which at a smaller size just looked like a brown donut. We quickly moved to realizing the necessity of the cream cheese, both visually and from the perspective of some former New Yorkers on the team.”
On the decision-making behind the cream-cheese bagel found on Android, Jennifer Daniel, head of emoji design at Google, told Emojipedia via email:
“Is there anyone more opinionated about authenticity than New Yorkers and their bagels? Our bagel was drawn by someone who has eaten a bodega bagel before. 😉”
When asked about if Google tried other types of bagels before settling on the current design, Daniel joked “one of those traditional Brooklyn rainbow bagels with butter.”
This isn't the first time an emoji design has been called out in the court of public opinion.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai possibly didn't know what he was getting into when he joked in November 2017 that Google would drop everything to fix the ingedient order of the Android burger emoji.
Subsequently, Google's developer conference in May of 2018 opened with an “apology” for these emoji sins and a demonstration of the newly-relocated cheese.
Prior to the paella there was the case of the peach emoji which as part of a design overhaul, ended up being displayed more like a peach and less like buttocks - the most common use-case for this emoji.
Like the bagel, Apple changed the peach design back to look more butt-like within the beta release cycle.
There's also the case of the Octopus - changed to be more realistic and then back to a cute design in the 2017 iOS betas - and perhaps the canonical case of upset over an emoji redesign: Apple's move to replace the gun with a water pistol, which is now the standard used by all major vendors.
More recently, Emojipedia's own sample images - a set of designs used to demonstrate how newly-approved emojis may look when released - came under scrutiny for messing up the accuracy of multiple designs.
Those who receive beta versions of iOS will have access to all of Apple's new emojis - including this bagel - now.
The final release of iOS 12.1 is expected at some stage between late October and mid November 2018 and will come as a free software update for all iOS 12.0 devices. Apple has not confirmed a specific release date, so these dates are merely estimates.
Until the final release of iOS 12.1, all designs remain subject to change.