The Unicode Consortium today released Unicode 8, the next update to the Unicode Standard that defines special characters and symbols, including emoji. Unicode 8 introduces 7,716 new characters, including six new scripts and new symbols, with letters to support languages in Africa, lowercase Cherokee symbols, and more.
Of interest to iPhone and Mac users is the emoji portion of Unicode 8, which introduces 37 new emoji and five emoji modifiers (these are the same skin tone modifiers that Apple has already adopted). These new emoji may eventually be added to Apple's Mac and iOS operating systems.
Of the 37 new emoji, inclusions based on popular request include taco, cheese wedge, burrito, bottle with popping cork, hot dog, popcorn, turkey, and unicorn face. Missing sports symbols like badminton and volleyball are also included, as are several new faces: face with rolling eyes, zipper-mouth face, robot face, upside-down face, and hugging face.
Unicode only includes text descriptions for each of the emoji, so it's up to each individual company to create the graphics to go along with the symbols. When these emoji eventually make their way to the iPhone, they'll look different than the images above.
Apple has adopted the emoji skin tone modifiers outlined in Unicode 8, but it has not yet adopted the new emoji symbols. In fact, Apple still has not adopted the Unicode 7 standard that was finalized in June of 2014, continuing to offer only the emoji that were included in Unicode 6. It is not known when Apple might add new emoji, but it has not done so in iOS 9, aside from a few new flags.
The Unicode Consortium is already working on Unicode 9 for 2016. Emoji additions proposed for Unicode 9 include bacon, avocado, shrug, croissant, owl, selfie, drooling face, and more.