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Apple Drops Gender-Inclusive, Disability, Mixed-Race, and Otter Emojis


The latest iOS update includes an infusion of emoji diversity.

Apple is amping up its emoji diversity.

The tech giant released 60 new characters as part of its iOS 13.2 update, many of which illustrate marginalized identities, reports CNN.

The update adds gender-neutral options to its lineup of human emojis, as well as a greater diversity of skin-tone options for interracial couples and families. Differently-abled folks are also better represented; the update includes a person in a wheelchair, prosthetic limbs, and an assistance dog.

In addition to broadening human diversity, the update adds new animal characters like the sloth and otter, as well as food items such as a waffle, butter, and an ice cube.

Apple reportedly consulted with members of the differently-abled community in creating the new emojis. Last year, the company petitioned the Unicode Consortium -- the nonprofit group that oversees the global emoji standard -- to be more inclusive of disability in its characters.

"Currently, emoji provide a wide range of options, but may not represent the experiences of those with disabilities," Apple wrote in March 2018. "Diversifying the options available helps fill a significant gap and provides a more inclusive experience for all."

The iOS 13.2 update also upgrades the cameras of the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro to "deep fusion" mode, which enhances the quality of photographs through AI.

See a demonstration of the new characters from "Chief Emoji Officer" Jeremy Burge below.

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