iOS 10 Emoji Changelog

iOS 10 Emoji Changelog

Apple today released iOS 10 which contains the first major emoji update for iPhone users of 2016.

Notable additions include more active female roles, single parent families, and a rainbow flag emoji.

This release (iOS 10.0.1) contains a total of 37 new emojis, or 632 emoji updates in total. This latter figure includes completely new characters as well as redesigned images for existing emojis.

There are 1,767 unique emoji images in iOS 10, which correspond to 1,922 emoji characters[1].

Now on Emojipedia:



Women, your time has come.

No longer relegated to haircuts, sassiness and pouting, iOS 10 supports women in activities such as running, surfing and swimming.

In addition, female versions of police officer, construction worker and sleuth are also available for the first time.

In total there are 17 New Female Emojis in iOS 10:

Every male emoji has a female equivalent in iOS 10, with the exception of ๐Ÿ•ด Man in Business Suit Levitating and ๐Ÿ‘ฒ Man With Gua Pi Mao.


Female emojis have been created by the addition of new Emoji ZWJ Sequences which consist of a"base" emoji plus a โ™€ Female Sign. When displayed in iOS 10, these sequences appear as unique emojis no different to any other on the keyboard.

The key differences in this implementation are:

  • Faster rollout (a new codepoint for each woman would have come in 2017 at the earliest)
  • Backward compatibility (sort of!)

Sending, for example, the ๐Ÿƒโ€โ™€๏ธ Woman Running Emoji to an iOS 9 user, or someone on another platform, looks like this: ๐Ÿƒโ™€

Incidentally, at these small sizes it can already be a challenge to determine which version is being sent, regardless of platform.

Above: Woman Running (left, iOS 10) falls back to ๐Ÿƒ Runner emoji + โ™€ Female Sign (right, iOS 9) on systems without gendered emoji support.

As with other human emoji characters, each supports modifiers to provide 5 x additional skin tones:

And just like regular emojis, each of these displays on the keyboard with a tap-and-hold. Basically, treat these new Emoji ZWJ Sequences no differently to other emojis. On supported systems, it's near impossible to tell the difference[2].

Above: ๐Ÿƒโ€โ™€๏ธ Woman Running on the emoji keyboard of iOS 10.


Changes put in place that provide more female representation in emoji apply equally to men.

This means emojis with a female appearance such as such as ๐Ÿ’ Information Desk Person and ๐Ÿ™‹ Happy Person Raising One Hand now have male equivalents.

This even goes so far as to include a ๐Ÿ‘ฏโ€โ™‚๏ธ Men With Bunny Ears emoji[3], which is one of my favorites.

There are nine new male emojis in iOS 10:

Gender Neutral

The way that female and male emojis are created means that there are now three states for a human emoji:

  1. Base Character (no gender specified, regardless of how it looks)
  2. Female Sequence
  3. Male Sequence

In iOS 10, the base characters for each human retain the gender-appearance chosen previously. This keeps the additions entirely optional extras, and assists with backward compatibility.

Above: Three states exist for each human emoji in iOS 10, though only two images are used.

Apple could update the base character to have a more gender-neutral appearance in a future release if they wished.


iOS 10 brings new single parent family combinations including one female parent or one male parent, with one or two children.

In total 10 new family combinations are possible. By comparison, previous iOS releases included many two-parent combinations, but no single parent families.

These new family combinations will be a welcome addition, and are a frequent request.

Note that family emojis on iOS don't support modifiers for skin tone. All families show as default-yellow.

Rainbow Flag

Rainbow Flag is a new emoji that makes its debut on iOS 10. This comes after it was documented by Unicode in July 2016.

Above: Rainbow Flag Emoji is now supported on iOS.


Hundreds of emojis have had a makeover in iOS 10, with a completely new design that is sharper, more detailed, and less glossy.

Above: 200 redesigned emojis in iOS 10.

These design changes in iOS 10 make human emojis characters less Simpsons and more Pixar.

Meet your new emoji family: familiar yet different:

It's refreshing to see the gradual updates to the emoji set in iOS 10.

๐Ÿ˜ˆ Smiling Face With Horns is an example where it's clear to see the type of changes included, with the gloss removed from the top, the drop-shadow also removed, and some of the bevel effects around the mouth and eyes gone too:

Another good place to see the design changes is in the people, which look great when shown at these larger sizes:

Apple hasn't been known to change the appearance of its emoji characters frequently, but it does happen. The ๐Ÿ‘ฏ Woman With Bunny Ears is now on her fourth iOS update:


๐Ÿ”ซ Pistol has changed from a realistic weapon into a water pistol / squirt gun[4]:

๐Ÿ˜ Grinning Face With Smiling Eyes has updated to now show a real smile rather than the quasi-grimacing variation it had previously. Don't worry, ๐Ÿ˜ฌ Grimacing Face remains available for those awkward moments).

๐Ÿ˜ฒ Astonished Face loses the Xs for eyes, making it look less dead and more surprised. This change also helps differentiate ๐Ÿ˜ฒ Astonished Face from ๐Ÿ˜ต Dizzy Face for iOS 10 users.

๐Ÿ˜– Confounded Face dropped the eyebrows, helping differentiate it from ๐Ÿ˜ฃ Persevering Face:

๐Ÿ‘ณ Man With Turban becomes the first[5] iOS emoji to sport a beard. Particularly noticeable when any of the non-default skin tones are used:

๐Ÿ› Bathtub is now filled with bubbles:

๐Ÿ›€ Bath now provides a shower cap to the person bathing:

๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡ช Flag for Rรฉunion used an unofficial flag proposal in iOS 9. A "more official" (yet still unofficial) flag is shown in iOS 10:

๐Ÿ’ Information Desk Person is more mature, less sassy:

๐Ÿ’ฉ Pile of Poo gains a thicker, more 3D appearance in iOS 10:

๐Ÿƒ Runner no longer wears jeans, and has far more appropriate running shorts and shirt.

๐ŸŽ… Father Christmas looks more like his jolly old self and less like one of the other emojis in disguise:

๐ŸŒ Golfer was previously showed no skin, which meant no skin tones[6] required. Skin is now shown, but this emoji still has no skin tone support.

๐Ÿ˜พ Pouting Cat Face (aka grumpy cat) no longer faces to the right. Joins the other cat faces ๐Ÿฑ๐Ÿ˜บ๐Ÿ˜ธ๐Ÿ˜น๐Ÿ˜ฝ๐Ÿ˜ป๐Ÿ˜ฟ๐Ÿ˜พ๐Ÿ˜ผ๐Ÿ™€ in facing forward.


In addition to the emoji character updates, iOS 10 also includes new emoji features:

  • Jumbomoji (iMessage shows larger emojis)
  • Emojify (tap to replace words with emoji in iMessage)
  • Emoji Autosuggest (suggest emojis to use when typing)


The 72 new emojis approved as part of Unicode 9.0 in June are nowhere to be found in iOS 10.

These include popular additions such as the shrug and face palm, which are now supported on Android and Windows.

I suspect we may see these come about in a point release for iOS later this year. Interestingly, Apple chose to go ahead with part of the draft Emoji 4.0 spec, but not all of it. As such we may also see new emoji professions coming out in an iOS 10.x release, too.


iOS 10 was released on September 13, 2016. All emoji updates listed here were automatically available for those receiving the software update from Apple.

macOS 10.12 Sierra is planned for release later this month, and includes the same emoji updates as iOS 10.

Previous Updates

If you're new to iOS emoji updates, here's a look back:

This is the state of play today:

  1. Examples of where one emoji image services multiple emojis characters include flags (๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ป Flag for Bouvet Island which serves the same image as ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ด Flag for Norway) and genders (๐Ÿ’โ€โ™€๏ธ Woman Tipping Hand shares an image with ๐Ÿ’ Information Desk Person). โ†ฉ๏ธŽ

  2. Except in your tweet limits, where a gendered emoji will use minimum three characters. โ†ฉ๏ธŽ

  3. I talked about my appreciation of this emoji with Unicode President Mark Davis in this aptly titled episode of Emoji Wrap. โ†ฉ๏ธŽ

  4. When this first showed up in a beta of iOS 10 I said this change is confusing and potentially dangerous. I stand by it, but do wonder whether other vendors will one-by-one start switching this to a toy weapon of some kind. โ†ฉ๏ธŽ

  5. Second, after ๐ŸŽ… Santa - as a few people have rightly pointed out since publishing! โ†ฉ๏ธŽ

  6. Thanks to Alex P for pointing this out. โ†ฉ๏ธŽ