iOS 14.5 Emoji Changelog

iOS 14.5 Emoji Changelog

Apple has released iOS 14.5 which brings new emojis such as heart on fire and a face in clouds to all iPhone and iPad users, as well as a vaccine-friendly redesign of the syringe emoji.

Also new in this update are gender options for people with beards and numerous skin tone combinations for couples, including some that extend beyond Unicode's 217 emoji approvals for the year.


Above: Three smileys and two hearts are among the new emojis in iOS 14.5

iOS 14.5 includes all 217 emojis approved as part of Emoji 13.1. 200 of these are to support different skin tones for two types of couples.

When additional non-standard emojis are included in the tally, there are 441 new emojis in this release.

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Emoji Tally

The main emoji updates in iOS 14.5 are those approved by Unicode in September 2020 which first appeared in an iOS beta in February 2021.

This might seem recent, given iOS 14.2 already included new emojis in November 2020, however this reflects a new schedule for Unicode releases, which impacts when new emojis come to major platforms such as iOS.

Above: 217 emojis approved in September 2020 are available in iOS 14.5.

In addition to the 217 new emojis approved by Unicode, several hundred additional combinations of ๐Ÿ’ Kiss and ๐Ÿ’‘ Couple with Heart are supported by Apple in iOS 14.5. These serve as a reminder that while Unicode decides which emojis are "RGI" (Recommended for General Interchange), it's entirely possible for individual vendors to create new emojis using sequences which extend beyond this list.

In total when all standard and non-standard emojis are tallied, a total of 669 new emojis are included in iOS 14.5. The majority, 652, are new combinations for each couple.

โœจ New and Notable

Most notable in this update are three new smileys. Two are brand new, and one resolves an instance of design disambiguation across emoji vendors.

๐Ÿ˜ฎโ€๐Ÿ’จ Face Exhaling appears like a sigh, though it may see other uses. ๐Ÿ˜ถโ€๐ŸŒซ Face in Clouds is deliberately ambiguous. This emoji might represent a foggy state of mind, confusion, or even a sense of calm bliss.


๐Ÿ˜ตโ€๐Ÿ’ซ Face with Spiral Eyes resolves a long-term issue whereby some vendors showed this emoji - ๐Ÿ˜ต - with spiral eyes, while the majority used X eyes.

With the approval of a new spiral-eyed emoji, all vendors will show the existing ๐Ÿ˜ต emoji with X eyes, and this new emoji with spiral eyes.

Above: ๐Ÿ˜ต is now universally shown with X eyes, making way for the new spiral eyed emoji.

The two new hearts are not new color variations of the classic heart ideogram[1], but instead represent two new visual metaphors.

These appear just after ๐Ÿ’” Broken Heart on the iOS emoji keyboard in iOS 14.5


Traditionally, a heart engulfed in flame as shown in โค๏ธโ€๐Ÿ”ฅ Heart on Fire is used to represent desire or lust. A bandaged heart such as โค๏ธโ€๐Ÿฉน Mending Heart might be considered as the opposite of a ๐Ÿ’” Broken Heart.

It will have to be seen how exactly people will use these new emojis, but as hearts are universally some of the most-used emojis after smileys, they're likely to be popular.

In the meantime you can read about what each previously-available heart emoji really means in a recent Emojipedia analysis.

iOS 14.5 also introduces a new ๐Ÿง”โ€โ™€๏ธ Woman: Beard emoji, and, due to to the way these emojis are implemented, a new gender-specific ๐Ÿง”โ€โ™‚๏ธ Man: Beard. Both support the five skin tone modifier options.


Above: the new ๐Ÿง”โ€โ™€๏ธ Woman: Beard and ๐Ÿง”โ€โ™‚๏ธ Man: Beard emojis in iOS 14.5.

The new ๐Ÿง”โ€โ™‚๏ธ Man: Beard should appear familiar: it displays with the same design that that was previously used by the ๐Ÿง” Person: Beard[2] code point. Meanwhile, ๐Ÿง” Person: Beard has been given a new gender neutral design, consistent with most other humanform emojis.


Above: ๐Ÿง” Person: Beard now uses Apple's gender-inclusive design. Image: Apple designs / Emojipedia composite.

This change follows a move over the last few years whereby emoji vendors provide a gender inclusive default for most human emojis, while a specific gender can be chosen if required.

Platforms with recent emoji updates, including iOS 14.5, will now show all of these existing emojis with a gender inclusive design:

๐Ÿ’‰ COVID Update

One of the more significant design changes in iOS 14.5 is the new vaccine-friendly ๐Ÿ’‰ Syringe emoji, now shown without any blood.


Above: a comparison between the iOS 14.2 and iOS 14.5 emoji designs for ๐Ÿ’‰ Syringe.

In a move that saw global news coverage when it originally appeared in iOS 14.5 beta 2, the ๐Ÿ’‰ Syringe emoji no longer displays any blood, and now has a shorter needle and a longer grey barrel.

By removing the blood from the design, Apple has made this emoji more visually appropriate for a wider variety of discussions, which of course includes vaccination.

Above: Evolution of the ๐Ÿ’‰ Syringe emoji across multiple platforms. Image: Vendor designs / Emojipedia composite.

This follows a significant uptick in ๐Ÿ’‰ Syringe usage on Twitter in December 2020 following the announcement of the various COVID-19 vaccines.

Made with Flourish

This wasn't the only emoji to change appearance in iOS 14.5, but is given the global vaccination push in 2021, this is the most notable emoji design change of iOS 14.5.

๐Ÿ’‘ Hundreds of Couples

200 of the 217 new emojis approved in September 2020 are variations of ๐Ÿ’‘ Couple with Heart and ๐Ÿ’ Kiss.

These combinations resolve a longstanding issue whereby people with the default yellow appearance are more closely associated with white people, despite being intended as a neutral color.

The result of this was an emoji keyboard that was inherently more useful to white couples than black couples. Now in iOS 14.5, the couples are more diverse than any previous release.


Using the same interface as used for ๐Ÿง‘โ€๐Ÿคโ€๐Ÿง‘ People Holding Hands in 2019, pressing-and-holding on any of the couples allows each skin tone to be chosen separately.

The most recent choice is kept on the keyboard as the default.

Above: Options for ๐Ÿ’‘ Couple with Heart and ๐Ÿ’ Kiss are new in iOS 14.5.

The emojis which support the skin tones options are:

๐Ÿง‘๐Ÿปโ€โค๏ธโ€๐Ÿง‘๐Ÿฟ Even More Couples

An extra set of 452 'non-standard' couples are supported in iOS 14.5, though not accessible via the emoji keyboard.

Beyond Unicode's RGI (Recommended for General Interchange) list, Apple has also implemented the following:

To get your head around this, here are all the new ๐Ÿ’‘ Couple with Heart options supported in iOS 14.5:



โšช๏ธ = Not new. An existing emoji.
๐ŸŸข = New, can be inserted via emoji keyboard.
๐Ÿ”ด = New, non-RGI (not on Unicode's recommendation list) and not shown on the emoji keyboard.

The same applies to the very-similar ๐Ÿ’ Kiss emoji which also has the same set of new options, both standard and non-standard.


All these additions are possible due a recent change to Apple's emoji technology which allows emojis to be rendered in real time. This is a change from earlier versions of the Apple Color Emoji font which required every combination to be pre-rendered and stored in the font as a bitmap image.

To use any of the new 'non-standard' emojis such as ๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€โค๏ธโ€๐Ÿง‘ Couple With Heart: Woman, Person or ๐Ÿง‘โ€โค๏ธโ€๐Ÿ’‹โ€๐Ÿ‘จ Kiss: Person, Man, you can use the "Copy and paste this emoji" function on Emojipedia, or store these in a notes file for future reference.

Note: sending a non-standard emoji to another platform will result in the individual characters being shown in order. For example ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿฟโ€โค๏ธโ€๐Ÿ’‹โ€๐Ÿง‘๐Ÿผ Kiss: Woman, Person, Dark Skin Tone, Medium-Light Skin Tone is displayed as a single emoji on iOS 14.5 will show on many devices as four emojis:


These non-standard emojis are flagged on Emojipedia with the warning:

๐Ÿšฉ This Emoji ZWJ Sequence has not been Recommended For General Interchange (RGI) by Unicode. Expect limited cross-platform support.

๐Ÿ”€ Changed

๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€โคโ€๐Ÿ’‹โ€๐Ÿ‘จ Kiss: Woman, Man now shows the woman on the left and man on the right, to match the name of this emoji.[4]


๐ŸŽง Headphone is now displayed as Apple's AirPod Max headset.


๐Ÿง— Not Changed

๐Ÿง— Person Climbing was shown with a helmet in marketing material distributed to some outlets (including Emojipedia) in February, touted to be a change in the forthcoming iOS 14.5 release.

This helmeted climber never appeared in any beta of iOS 14.5, and is also not included in the final release.


The helmet was also intended to be added to ๐Ÿง—โ€โ™€โ€ Woman Climbing and ๐Ÿง—โ€โ™‚โ€ Man Climbing but neither eventuated in any build of iOS 14.5.

However, just a few days before the release of iOS 14.5, Apple rolled out the first beta of iOS 14.6. This forthcoming update does include the helmet-wearing climbers from earlier press images.

๐Ÿ“ฒ Release

iOS 14.5 is available now as a free software update for the following devices:

  • iPhone 12 / 12 Mini/ 12 Pro / 12 Pro Max
  • iPhone 11 / 11 Pro / 11 Pro Max
  • iPhone XS / XS Max
  • iPhone X / XR
  • iPhone 8 / 8 Plus
  • iPhone 7 / 7 Plus
  • iPhone 6s / 6s Plus
  • iPhone SE (1st generation)
  • iPhone SE (2nd generation)
  • iPod touch (7th generation)

The same emojis are included as part of iPadOS 14.5, tvOS 14.5, watchOS 7.4, and macOS 11.3.

๐Ÿ“– Read More

  1. Sorry to those with a long-standing hankering for a plain pink heart. โ†ฉ๏ธŽ

  2. To really get into the weeds, the Unicode Character Database (UCD) name for ๐Ÿง” U+1F9D4 has always been BEARDED PERSON, making this gender neutral. This emoji was specified as male within TR-51 (the Unicode Consortium's emoji documentation) and so the CLDR (Common Locale Data Repository) name in English was set as "Man: Beard" until now. It was switched to Person: Beard in 2020. โ†ฉ๏ธŽ

  3. Microsoft, with its versatile vector emoji font, has also supported reverse-order emoji couples like this since 2017. Like Apple, these aren't shown in any emoji picker on Windows, so remain more of an Easter-egg. โ†ฉ๏ธŽ

  4. In an odd quirk, ๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€โค๏ธโ€๐Ÿ’‹โ€๐Ÿ‘จ Kiss: Woman, Man originally showed the woman on the left in 2015 but this changed to show the man on the left in 2016. By comparison, ๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€โค๏ธโ€๐Ÿ‘จ Couple with Heart: Woman, Man has consistently kept the woman showing first, matching the Unicode-supplied name. With all else being equal, Unicode generally lists women before men in RGI couple sequences. โ†ฉ๏ธŽ