New Emoji and My Favorite Radar

2014 was a big year for emoji. In the spring, Twitter implemented emoji on their website. In June, the emoji standard was extended to include around 250 new images. With the release of iOS 8 in the fall, Apple turned the emoji keyboard on by default. A great deal of progress was made.

After hearing about the new glyphs last summer, I took the opportunity to discuss the rise of emoji. You may recall my eagerness to see one particular new emoji added to the available options: “Reversed Hand With Middle Finger Extended”.

Reversed Hand With Middle Finger Extended
[Image credit: Emoji Blog]

But eight months later, those new emoji are very poorly supported. Apple has yet to update their platforms with any of the recently-added emoji, and each new version of Mac OS X and iOS has led only to repeated disappointment.

Recent news seemed to offer hope of a change. Hearing that Apple would be updating emoji on both their major platforms led to renewed optimism on my part. After reading a post touting “300 new, diverse emoji”, I felt sure that our glorious, obscene future had finally arrived. I updated a machine to the Mac OS X 10.10.3 beta to check it out.

There are some truly new emoji in the form of additional flags. Welcome, Belgium.

Face Massages
Now in alphabeticalish order!

There are also multiple pigments for many of the people emoji, so you can get a face massage in any skin tone you like:

Face Massages
That left-most yellow is intended to mean “cartoonishly unhuman”, not racist “Asian”.

However, after much searching I realized I was to be let down once again. None of the emoji from the updated Unicode 7 spec are included. Apple continues to flip us the figurative bird by refusing to provide us with a literal middle finger. Diversity of races is surely a good thing, but where is the diversity for people who wish to communicate with widely recognized hand gestures? Surely we deserve satisfaction!

After some time sitting in a soggy pile of my own dashed hopes, I resolved to take action. Reasoning that perhaps Apple is simply unaware of the wondrous world of new emoji which awaits us all, I logged on to Apple’s Bug Reporter and filed an enhancement request.1

Radar #19925942
This is probably my favorite radar ever.

If you too dream of a future where we can use emoji to adequately express our contempt, add your support by duping Radar #19925942. Depending on your general feelings toward Apple and their bug reporting system, you may or may not choose to include an image of the desired emoji as I did. For reference, of course.

At times, I am haunted by the thought that Apple will never implement the new emoji. However, I have one fear even deeper than that, which I originally expressed on John Gruber’s “The Talk Show” last year2. My worry is that Apple may update their emoji set with most of the new glyphs, while opting to ignore the one fingered salute. For now though, I wait with bated breath and hope that the folks in Cupertino will do what’s right. C’mon guys — I really don’t want to have to switch to Android.


  1. Using Safari® 1.0 or better, of course ↩︎

  2. For a non-timestamped, but more canonical link, see here. ↩︎