Thursday, November 12, 2015

Unicode 9.0 Candidate Characters

sample_1f95e.pngThe Unicode Consortium has accepted 7 new emoji characters as candidates for Unicode 9.0, scheduled for release in mid-2016. This makes a total of 74 emoji candidates. These join thousands of non-emoji candidate characters for Unicode 9.0.

At this point, the characters for Unicode 9.0 are candidates—not yet finalized—so some may be removed from the candidate list, and others may be added. Names, images, and code points may also change, so these candidates are not yet ready for use in production systems. The additions of emoji characters to Unicode are based on the emoji selection factors. Other prospective emoji characters are still being assessed and could be approved as candidates in the future.

There is also a new version of UTR #51, Unicode Emoji, which provides design guidelines and data for improving emoji interoperability across platforms, and gives background information about emoji symbols. Aside from general clarifications in the text, several annexes are moved to separate pages to allow for faster updates, the level distinction among emoji is removed, and certain characters no longer allow for emoji modifiers for skin-tone. These changes are also reflected in new machine-readable emoji data files for implementations.

The emoji charts have also been updated. These include a full listing of emoji characters (with images from various vendors), the default ordering of emoji, annotations, when various emoji were added to Unicode, and more.