We already talked here about the version 12.0 From emojis, which had its cards proposed a few months ago. It is now in beta for debut in 2019 – until then, manufacturers and developers will use that time to incorporate the news into their systems and adapt them to their own standards.
Another benefit of the trial version is that we already know exactly what to expect in the coming year in terms of news in the increasingly extensive catalog of stickers. One of the focuses of this new launch of the Unicode Consortium is the improvement of representativeness: after many requests, the emojis representing families finally bring support to skin tones, in the same way as the individual stickers.
The editor-in-chief of the blog Emojipedia, Jeremy Burge, stated in an article detailing the news that support for black families and other skin tones has long been a priority in the development of stickers; yellow-skinned families were thought of as a neutral alternative, but are widely seen as white by users. Therefore, options that contemplate everyone are always welcome.
Other emojis, such as handshakes and fighters, will also start supporting skin tones in 2019. In addition, we have drafts for other stickers that will arrive soon, including interracial couples, a sloth, a kite, a container of mate tea (chimarrão) and others.
Final decisions about Emoji 12.0 will be made in the next Unicode Technical Committee, meeting to be held in January 2019; in the following two months the final adjustments will be made for a global release of the update in March next year. From there, manufacturers – like Apple – can start bringing support for the new stickers on their systems and services. In the case of Apple, the most likely schedule will be repeated; we can expect them on iOS 13.1, macOS 10.15.1 and watchOS 6.1.