Apple’s iOS 17.4 beta has recently made waves with the introduction of 118 new emoji characters, breathing fresh life into digital conversations. These additions, part of the Unicode 15.1 update approved in September 2023, include a phoenix, lime, brown mushroom, broken chain, and expressive head-shaking emoji.
iOS 17.4 beta expands emoji with new combinations and direction specificity
The six brand-new emoji concepts – Head Shaking Horizontally, Head Shaking Vertically, Phoenix, Lime, Brown Mushroom, and Broken Chain – add a playful touch to iOS conversations. These fun characters are drawn from Unicode’s September 2023 recommendations.
iOS 17.4 introduces four non-gender-specifying family emoji combinations, enhancing representation in digital communication. The family emoji designs have undergone a makeover, transitioning from colorful aesthetics to a more minimalist white-silhouette-on-gray-background look.
Moreover, users now have direction-specifying variations for people emoji, allowing them to choose the orientation of characters like Person Walking, Person Running, Person Kneeling, Person with White Cane, Person in Manual Wheelchair, and Person in Motorized Wheelchair. With gender and skin tone variations, these additions total 108, offering users a broader range of expressive options.
While the beta version showcases these exciting changes, a minor bug affecting the selection of alternative-direction emoji characters is expected to be resolved in future updates. The bug currently causes an inversion to left-facing counterparts and skin tone options when selecting these variations.
Apart from the emoji excitement, iOS 17.4 brings noteworthy changes, including:
- App Store changes in the EU: The update complies with new EU legislation, allowing alternative app marketplaces and in-app payment methods outside of Apple’s system for EU users.
- Podcast enhancements: Users can now enjoy automatically generated transcripts for podcast episodes, providing a more accessible and engaging listening experience.
- Siri multilingual messaging: Siri now supports additional languages for reading messages, providing users with more options for a personalized experience.
- Stolen Device Protection Tweaks: Apple has made user-friendly adjustments to the Stolen Device Protection feature, offering more flexibility in authentication settings.
iOS 17.4 is currently available to developers in beta, with public beta testing expected soon. The official release is anticipated in March, bringing users worldwide a delightful array of emoji options.