First Look: New Emojis in iOS 16.4

First Look: New Emojis in iOS 16.4

New emoji designs have arrived on iOS as part of the first iOS 16.4 beta, including the shaking face, two pushing hands, and the much-requested plain pink heart emoji.

Above: New emojis now available in the first beta for iOS 16.4. Image: Apple designs / Emojipedia composite.

A total of 31 new emojis have made their Apple device debut in today's beta release, with all 31 of these designs drawn from Unicode's September 2022 recommendation list, Emoji 15.0.

šŸ§® 1 Smileys, 2 Hands, 3 Colorful Hearts

The new emojis in today's beta release of iOS 16.4 include one new smiley face, three new colored heart emojis, and two new hand gestures that should support the usual five skin tone modifiers, though the current beta doesn't allow them to be accessed.

Above: 1 new smiley, 2 new gestures, and three new heart emojis in today's iOS 16.4 beta release. Image: Apple designs / Emojipedia composite.

The plain šŸ©· Pink Heart emoji has been a popular request for quite some time and, alongside šŸ©µ Light Blue Heart and šŸ©¶ Grey Heart, closes some notable gaps within the heart emoji color spectrum.

Above: Exerpts from L2/21-065 Examining Emoji Color Spaces: A Strategy for Improving the Coverage of Heart Emoji.

The new šŸ«Ø Shaking Face emoji can be used to express physical shaking from external forces (such as earthquakes or loud noises) or internal emotion (such as shock, disbelief, or excitement).

The two pushings hands - šŸ«ø Rightwards Pushing Hand and šŸ«· Leftwards Pushing Hand - could be used individually to represent a pushing gesture or a "stop" gesture, or be placed alongside one another to create a new "high five" emoji (maybe even with a šŸ’„ Collision emoji in between them, for added intensity).

Above: the two new pushing hand emojis could be combined to create a distinct "high five" emoji. Image: Apple designs / Emojipedia composite.

šŸŽØ Other New Emoji Designs

Today's iOS 16.4 beta 1 also debuts eight new emoji designs across the šŸ» Animals & Nature and šŸ” Food & Drink emoji categories, such as a šŸ« Donkey and šŸ«› Pea Pod.

There are also two further additions in each of the āš½ Activity, šŸ’” Objects, and šŸ’• Symbols emoji categories, including šŸŖ‡ Maracas, a šŸŖ® Hair Pick, and the šŸŖÆ Khanda symbol of the Sikh faith.

šŸ–¼ļø Final designs?

As with all beta software, these new emoji designs are subject to change prior to the final release of iOS 16.4.

For example, last year the šŸ§Œ Troll emoji had its design changed between the first iOS 15.4 beta in January and the update's official release in March.

Above: thešŸ§Œ Troll emoji had its design modified between the first beta release of iOS 15.4 and the final version of iOS 15.4.

Additionally, in previous years both the šŸ„Æ Bagel and šŸ‘ Peach experienced reworked designs within beta releases.

Above: the šŸ„Æ Bagel emoji was first introduced iOS 12.1 beta 2, but was changed before the final iOS 12.1 release.

šŸ“¶ Release

Coming to iOS later "this Spring" (northern hemisphere), these updates are in iOS 16.4 beta 1 which is now available for those subscribed to the Apple Developer Program.

Based on past iOS beta history it's likely that the final public release of iOS 16.4 will come to users in March or April 2023.

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