Apple’s New Emojis For iOS 14.5 Include New Couples Skin Tone Options & Fun Updates

After launching over 100 new emojis in November 2020, Apple is unveiling a lineup of new options that will be available with the release of iOS 14.5 in spring 2021. On Tuesday, Feb. 16, the tech giant announced the 217 new emojis that will be released in the spring are also currently available in beta previews of iOS 14.5 — and most of them are making popular emojis like couples kissing and couples with heart much more inclusive. Apple’s new emojis for iOS 14.5 include so many more gender and skin tone variations for couples and individuals as well as updates to some OG faves, like a new mending heart and burning heart emoji.

While Apple typically releases new emojis in the fall, it rolled out a new Unicode release schedule this year to give people access to all its new designs much sooner. The 217 new emojis, which were approved by the Unicode Consortium in September 2020, notably include a number of gender and skin tone options to make emojis more inclusive.

Following 2017's addition of a bearded person emoji, Apple's iOS 14.5 emojis will include woman with beard and man with beard emojis that come in six different skin tones variations to make 12 different options in total. Apple is also expanding its skin tone variations for the emojis of couples kissing and couples with a pink heart. In the update, you'll be able to make more combinations with different skin tones for each person in the emoji. While the company previously allowed people to denote mixed-race couples or friends by adding the functionality to the couple holding hands emoji in 2019, these additions take it one step further.

Courtesy of Apple

In addition to adding more diverse emojis to its lineup, Apple will also be unveiling 17 new emojis that are either brand new designs or updates to existing icons. For example, Apple will be mixing in some subtle branding by changing its headphones emoji to the AirPods Max, and the emojis of the person, woman, and man climbing will all now have helmets. The company will be redesigning the syringe so it doesn't have blood coming out of it and looks much more versatile — a decision that's likely linked to the rollout of coronavirus vaccine.

The beta release will also include three new face emojis (face exhaling, face in clouds, and face with spiral eyes) as well as two new heart emojis denoting a burning heart or a mending heart.

Courtesy of Apple

These new emojis are available as of Feb. 16 in the developer and public beta previews of iOS 14.5, but you'll unfortunately have to wait until spring to access and use them if you don't sign up for the beta preview.