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.
- Full Emoji 13.1 list
- Images: every new emoji in iOS 14.5
- Images: every changed emoji in iOS 14.5
- Twitter thread of new emojis
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 💏 Kiss and 💑 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.
✨ 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.
😮💨 Face Exhaling appears like a sigh, though it may see other uses. 😶🌫 Face in Clouds is deliberately ambiguous. This emoji might represent a foggy state of mind, confusion, or even a sense of calm bliss.
With the approval of a new spiral-eyed emoji, all vendors will show the existing 😵 emoji with X eyes, and this new emoji with spiral eyes.
Above: 😵 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, but instead represent two new visual metaphors.
These appear just after 💔 Broken Heart on the iOS emoji keyboard in iOS 14.5
Traditionally, a heart engulfed in flame as shown in ❤️🔥 Heart on Fire is used to represent desire or lust. A bandaged heart such as ❤️🩹 Mending Heart might be considered as the opposite of a 💔 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.
- 🧔♀️ Woman: Beard
- 🧔🏻♀️ Woman: Light Skin Tone, Beard
- 🧔🏼♀️ Woman: Medium-Light Skin Tone, Beard
- 🧔🏽♀️ Woman: Medium Skin Tone, Beard
- 🧔🏾♀️ Woman: Medium-Dark Skin Tone, Beard
- 🧔🏿♀️ Woman: Dark Skin Tone, Beard
- 🧔♂️ Man: Beard
- 🧔🏻♂️ Man: Light Skin Tone, Beard
- 🧔🏼♂️ Man: Medium-Light Skin Tone, Beard
- 🧔🏽♂️ Man: Medium Skin Tone, Beard
- 🧔🏾♂️ Man: Medium-Dark Skin Tone, Beard
- 🧔🏿♂️ Man: Dark Skin Tone, Beard
The new 🧔♂️ Man: Beard should appear familiar: it displays with the same design that that was previously used by the 🧔 Person: Beard code point. Meanwhile, 🧔 Person: Beard has been given a new gender neutral design, consistent with most other humanform emojis.
Above: 🧔 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:
- 🧔 Person: Beard
- 🧔🏻 Person: Light Skin Tone, Beard
- 🧔🏼 Person: Medium-Light Skin Tone, Beard
- 🧔🏽 Person: Medium Skin Tone, Beard
- 🧔🏾 Person: Medium-Dark Skin Tone, Beard
- 🧔🏿 Person: Dark Skin Tone, Beard
💉 COVID Update
One of the more significant design changes in iOS 14.5 is the new vaccine-friendly 💉 Syringe emoji, now shown without any blood.
Above: a comparison between the iOS 14.2 and iOS 14.5 emoji designs for 💉 Syringe.
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 💉 Syringe emoji across multiple platforms. Image: Vendor designs / Emojipedia composite.
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.
💑 Hundreds of Couples
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 🧑🤝🧑 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.
The emojis which support the skin tones options are:
- 💑 Couple with Heart
- 👩❤️👩 Couple with Heart: Woman, Woman
- 👨❤️👨 Couple with Heart: Man, Man
- 👩❤️👨 Couple with Heart: Woman, Man
- 💏 Kiss
- 👩❤️💋👩 Kiss: Woman, Woman
- 👨❤️💋👨 Kiss: Man, Man
- 👩❤️💋👨 Kiss: Woman, Man
🧑🏻❤️🧑🏿 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:
- A couple emoji can include 🧑 Person + 👩 Woman, or 🧑 Person + 👨 Man. In Unicode's list, a gender inclusive person emoji can only be paired with a second gender-inclusive person.
- A couple emoji can include one Person, Woman or Man with a neutral yellow skin tone, shown in combination with a Person, Woman or Man that has a realistic skin tone. In Unicode's list, realistic skin tones are not shown alongside the default yellow option.
- Any of the above combinations are permitted in any order. For example, this is a standard Unicode emoji: 👩❤️👨 Couple with Heart: Woman, Man, but the opposite pairing is 👨❤️👩 Couple With Heart: Man, Woman is also supported in this release, despite being non-standard.
To get your head around this, here are all the new 💑 Couple with Heart options supported in iOS 14.5:
⚪️ = Not new. An existing emoji.
🟢 = New, can be inserted via emoji keyboard.
🔴 = New, non-RGI (not on Unicode's recommendation list) and not shown on the emoji keyboard.
The same applies to the very-similar 💏 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 👩❤️🧑 Couple With Heart: Woman, Person or 🧑❤️💋👨 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 👩🏿❤️💋🧑🏼 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:
🚩 This Emoji ZWJ Sequence has not been Recommended For General Interchange (RGI) by Unicode. Expect limited cross-platform support.
🎧 Headphone is now displayed as Apple's AirPod Max headset.
🧗 Not Changed
This helmeted climber never appeared in any beta of iOS 14.5, and is also not included in the final release.
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.
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.
📖 Read More
To really get into the weeds, the Unicode Character Database (UCD) name for 🧔 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. ↩︎
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. ↩︎
In an odd quirk, 👩❤️💋👨 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, 👩❤️👨 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. ↩︎