The latest Apple iOS update now includes gender-neutral emojis

New gender neutral Emojis are being introduced [Photo: Emojipedia]
New gender neutral Emojis are being introduced [Photo: Emojipedia]

Emoji fans rejoice as the little characters on your iPhones just got a whole lot more inclusive with new gender-neutral updates to existing favourites.

Yep, there are now 398 new ways for Apple users to express themselves without words.

As reported by Emojipedia, Apple’s iOS 13.2 update unveils a whole host of new and updated keyboard characters with a focus on inclusion and diversity.

According to Emojipedia, combined with the gender neutral designs introduced in Emoji 12.0 and Emoji 12.1, iOS 13.2 features a whopping 457 new gender-neutral emoji designs with the aim of upping keyboard representation.

READ MORE: Air Canada to use gender-neutral terms on flights instead of greeting passengers 'ladies and gentlemen'

And the inclusivity doesn’t stop there. The new update also includes an increase in the variations of people holding hands.

Users now have the option to mix and match two women, two men, or a woman and man, while a new combination which shows people holding hands without a specific gender is also being introduced.

These characters can now also be further customised based on race and gender, with users able to select different skin tones.

In a drive for more diverse keyboard characters there are now more disability-themed emoji options too, including characters in wheelchairs, prosthetic limbs and Emojis to represent the blind. These form some of the 67 new accessibility-focused emojis.

READ MORE: School crowns two female students 'homecoming royalty' in gender-neutral move

Those with ginger and curly hair can also now see themselves represented in the profession-based emojis like airplane pilot and chef.

Many of these designs were first previewed earlier this year in celebration of World Emoji Day, and were made available to testers earlier this month.

The Emoji update includes some new representations of various disabilities [Photo: Emojipedia]
The Emoji update includes some new representations of various disabilities [Photo: Emojipedia]

The update forms part of a drive to offer more diverse Emojis. According to CNN in March 2018, the tech giant requested more Emojis that were inclusive of disability in a proposal sent to the Unicode Consortium.

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

The news comes as it was revealed earlier this year that a period emoji had been introduced to keyboards.

Back in February, Unicode, the bods-that-be who make the decisions about emojis, confirmed the period emoji had been given the go-ahead.