OS X 10.10.3 Puts More Focus on Emoji, Lays Groundwork for Skin Tone Modifiers

While the featured addition in yesterday's OS X 10.10.3 developer seed was the new Photos app, Apple is addressing other issues with the forthcoming update, and one of these focus areas is emoji, which is seeing several changes and improvements.

One immediately evident change is the menu option used to bring up the character palette where emoji and other symbols can be browsed and selected. The Character palette a is systemwide option generally accessed through the "Edit" menu in most Mac apps. On OS X 10.10.2 and earlier, the menu item is called "Special Characters," while on OS X 10.10.3, it is labeled "Emoji & Symbols". The change offers a clearer description of what can be accessed through the menu item while specifically giving a strong visibility boost to emoji.

Another significant change for emoji in OS X 10.10.3 is the apparent laying of groundwork to support skin tone modifiers proposed for the Unicode 8.0 standard. Apple noted almost a year ago that it was working with the Unicode Consortium to bring more diversity to emoji, and the proposed skin tone modifiers are a significant step in that direction. OS X 10.10.3 also appears to include a number of placeholders for new emoji in the character palette, but no images or descriptions have yet been added for these entries.

emoji_placeholders

Character palette showing placeholders for new emoji and an arrow on the "Man" emoji to provide access to skin tone options

The skin tone modifier proposal would apply to certain skin-colored emoji, allowing users to select from a range of skin tones to best represent the message they wish to send via emoji. As can be seen in OS X 10.10.3, many of these skin-colored emoji now display an arrow that when clicked brings up a menu of options.

emoji_skin_tone_man

Apparent incomplete implementation of skin tone modifier options for the "Man" emoji

While the menu is currently non-functional, it does show the selected emoji followed by five instances of the emoji paired with a number one inside a black box. These are presumably incomplete implementations of skin tone modifiers, waiting for the Unicode Consortium to finalize its standards for Unicode 8.0. Just yesterday, the Unicode Technical Committee officially moved the technical report covering skin tone modifiers and other emoji changes for Unicode 8.0 to draft status, and Unicode 8.0 itself has been approved for beta release.

In one other change for emoji in OS X 10.10.3, the pop-up emoji picker available in many apps has been transitioned from a paginated layout to a single larger vertical-scrolling page. Under OS X 10.10.2 and earlier, the various emoji categories are contained on separate pages within the picker, with users needing to click on a toolbar along the bottom to change pages.

emoji_pickers

Emoji picker in OS X 10.10.2 (left) with paginated categories vs. OS X 10.10.3 (right) with single scrollable page and category jumps

In OS X 10.10.3, all emoji are displayed on a single page, and while they are still organized by category and users can still click toolbar buttons to quickly jump between categories, users can now also simply scroll the entire list if they wish.

All of these changes come as emoji have exploded in popularity, spreading beyond their origin in Japan to be embraced worldwide as a quick, fun, and easy way to share a variety of emotions and thoughts, most commonly within messaging apps. As a result, Apple has been working to increase support for emoji across iOS and OS X, and this first OS X 10.10.3 developer build is a clear sign of that continued interest.

(Thanks, Sachin!)

Related Forum: OS X Yosemite

Top Rated Comments

Traverse Avatar
102 months ago
Really? Above all else, this takes precedence? I didn't even think emoji were supposed to look like real people, hints the unrealistic yellow skin and missing nose.
Score: 78 Votes (Like | Disagree)
SmileyBlast! Avatar
102 months ago
Why? :apple: Why?
Score: 62 Votes (Like | Disagree)
weckart Avatar
102 months ago
At last. Something for the professionals. This makes up for Final Cut X.
Score: 47 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ButteryScrollin Avatar
102 months ago
Great to see Apple putting effort into emoji and not fixing the opendirectoryd bug...
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cunninglinguist Avatar
102 months ago
Glad to see Apple putting time and effort into the truly important features of an operating system. :rolleyes:

Seriously folks, if you were on the fence about switching to a different OS because of Apple's long string of debacles over the past few years, this should be your "table flip, exit stage left" moment.
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rkilcoyne Avatar
102 months ago
REALLY‽ How about Vid Driver issues‽

How about video driver issues on retina macbook pros? I've had more lockups since Fall than I've had in the previous 10 years! And while they're at it, instead of screwing around with goofy emojis, how about fixing the absolutely horrendous calculator app‽ It's really an embarrassment -- the window controls don't even line up and C/AC don't work right!
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

applefifthavenue

Man Robbed After Buying 300 iPhones From Apple Fifth Avenue

Tuesday November 29, 2022 11:54 am PST by
An unnamed 27-year-old man who purchased 300 iPhones from Apple Fifth Avenue on Monday morning was robbed shortly after leaving the store, according to 1010Wins Radio in New York. He was carrying 300 iPhone 13s in three bags and walking to his car at 1:45 a.m. when another car pulled up next to him. Two men jumped out and demanded that he hand over the bags. Not wanting to hand over 300...
app store awards 2021

Apple Announces 2022 App Store Award Winners, Highlighting Best Apps of the Year

Tuesday November 29, 2022 3:10 am PST by
Apple today announced its 2022 App Store Award winners, highlighting the 16 best apps and games selected by Apple's global App Store editorial team. The top apps were chosen by Apple for their quality, innovative technology, creative design, positive cultural impact, and ability to deliver "exceptional experiences." Apple CEO Tim Cook said: This year's App Store Award winners reimagined...
Cyber Monday Deals Feature 2022

Best Cyber Monday Apple Deals Still Available for AirPods, Apple TV, iPad, and More

Monday November 28, 2022 5:24 am PST by
The Black Friday and Cyber Monday holiday shopping rush is drawing to a close, but there are still some good deals to be had out there. For Apple products, many of the deals you've seen since last week are still available, though some have expired. So for anyone who missed out on Black Friday deals, there's still an opportunity to get some of the year's best prices on many Apple devices. Note: ...
iPhone 14 Pro Rear Camera

iPhone 15 to Use 'State-of-the-Art' Image Sensor From Sony for Better Low-Light Performance

Monday November 28, 2022 11:00 am PST by
Apple's upcoming iPhone 15 models will be equipped with Sony's newest "state of the art" image sensors, according to a report from Nikkei. Compared to standard sensors, Sony's image sensor doubles the saturation signal in each pixel, allowing it to capture more light to cut down on underexposure and overexposure. Nikkei says that it is able to better photograph a person's face even with...
eufy camera

Anker's Eufy Cameras Caught Uploading Content to the Cloud Without User Consent [Updated]

Tuesday November 29, 2022 1:01 pm PST by
Anker's popular Eufy-branded security cameras appear to be sending some data to the cloud, even when cloud storage is disabled and local only storage settings are turned on. The information comes from security consultant Paul Moore, who last week published a video outlining the issue. According to Moore, he purchased a Eufy Doorbell Dual, which was meant to be a device that stored video...
rapid security response

Apple Releases Another Rapid Security Response Update for iOS 16.2 Beta Users

Monday November 28, 2022 10:16 am PST by
Apple today released a Rapid Security Response update that is available for those running the iOS 16.2 beta, marking the launch of the second RSR update since the feature was released in iOS 16. The Rapid Security Response Update is designed to provide iOS 16.2 beta users with bug fixes without the need to install a full update. The initial RSR release for iOS 16.2 beta users was a test with ...
Apple Watch Ultra Oceanic Plus App

Apple Announces Oceanic+ App Now Available for Apple Watch Ultra

Monday November 28, 2022 6:11 am PST by
Apple today announced that the Oceanic+ app is available for the Apple Watch Ultra starting today. Designed by Huish Outdoors in collaboration with Apple, the app serves as a dive computer for recreational scuba diving at depths up to 40 meters/130 feet. Apple already offers a basic Depth app on the Apple Watch Ultra for viewing your current depth, maximum depth reached, water temperature,...
14 vs 16 inch mbp m2 pro and max feature 1

'M2 Max' Geekbench Scores Leak Online, Revealing Rumored Specs and Performance

Wednesday November 30, 2022 2:39 am PST by
Geekbench scores allegedly for the upcoming "M2 Max" chip have surfaced online, offering a closer look at the performance levels and specific details of the forthcoming Apple silicon processor. The Geekbench results, first spotted on Twitter, are for a Mac configuration of with the M2 Max chip, a 12-core CPU, and 96GB of memory. The Mac listed has an identifier "Mac14,6," which could be...
iphone 11 tesla cybertruck close up

Elon Musk Pledges to Build iPhone Rival If Apple Ousts Twitter

Tuesday November 29, 2022 2:48 am PST by
Elon Musk has pledged to offer an "alternative phone" if Apple and Google remove Twitter from their app stores, adding to long-standing rumors about an iPhone rival from Tesla. Modified iPhone 11 Pro in the style of the Tesla Cybertruck, by Caviar. Musk's remark came after being asked about the potential scenario of Twitter being removed from app stores, which could conceivably happen if the...
iOS 16

Apple Releases iOS 16.1.2 With Carrier Improvements and Crash Detection Optimizations

Wednesday November 30, 2022 10:09 am PST by
Apple today released iOS 16.1.2, another minor bug fix update that comes one week after the release of iOS 16.1.1 and three weeks after the launch of iOS 16.1, an update that added support for iCloud Shared Photo Library, Matter, Live Activities, and more. The iOS 16.1.2 update can be downloaded on eligible iPhones over-the-air by going to Settings > General > Software Update. According...