Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Draft Candidates for Emoji 12.0 Beta (2019)

Emoji The Emoji 12.0 Beta contains 236 Emoji Draft Candidates, consisting of 61 characters plus 175 sequences. These are slated for release in 2019Q1 together with Unicode Version 12.0.

The emoji are in the following categories: 3 smileys & emotion, 209 people & body, 7 animals & nature, 9 food & drink, 6 travel & places, 3 activities, 15 objects, and 12 miscellaneous symbols. 50 of  the new emoji (including gender/skin-tone variants) are for accessibility, such as ear with hearing aid and woman in manual wheelchair. The hearts, circles, and squares now have the same set of colors for decorative and/or descriptive uses.

Multi-person emoji now have skin-tone variants:

(A) Full Emoji v12.0 support requires that the holding-hands emoji (👫 👬 👫) with specific genders be supported with 55 combinations of mixed skin tones, such as:
  • man with dark skin tone and woman with light skin tone holding hands
  • woman with medium skin tone and woman with medium light skin tone holding hands
  • man with light skin tone and man with light skin tone holding hands
(B) Full Emoji v12.0 support requires that the 6 multi-person emoji (👯️‍  🤼 🤝 💏 💑 👪) without specific gender be supported with the 5 human skin tones, such as:
  • family (adult+adult+child) with dark skin tone
  • couples with heart (adult+adult) with medium skin tone
  • couples kissing (adult+adult) with light skin tone
A mechanism is provided for mixed skin tones for emoji in group B, such as with a family of man+woman+girl+boy, but support is optional.

The following notes are relevant for implementers:
  1. The 40 holding-hands emoji with mixed skin tones have a simpler internal representation, compared to the previous draft. The 15 with uniform skin tones use a single character plus skin-tone modifiers.
  2. Implementations may optionally support all combinations of mixed skin tones for the 6 multi-person emoji in the B group. This can be a large number — over 4,000 for the family emoji alone — and thus may not be practical for all devices.
  3. Clearer definitions are now provided in the specification, along with a new set for Basic_Emoji. For other details, see the specification.
The complete list of emoji sequences for Emoji 12.0 will be finalized during the next UTC meeting in January 2019. The CLDR English names and keywords for the new emoji characters will be finalized within the next month, and translation into 80+ languages (such as Slavic languages) will begin. Feedback is welcome on the sorting order and the English names and keywords.


Over 130,000 characters are available for adoption, to help the Unicode Consortium’s work on digitally disadvantaged languages.