moving to Seattle and emoji classification 2: the new batch

Preparing for a cross-country move, it turns out, is extremely time-consuming, even when 1) you’re unemployed and 2) someone else is handling a lot of the logistics. Kudos to those of you who have done it without assistance. I feel like I spend hours every day on the phone with various people, making appointments, cleaning closets, tying up loose ends, doing research. This cross-country move also marks the first time my boyfriend and I will be living together, and merging our respective cat households. We each have 2 cats. Moving 4 cats makes the process infinitely more complicated but we are just not willing to give up any of the cats so: here we go, into crazy cat people-dom.

But in my spare time I still find moments here and there to think about the new emoji classification system. I did not mention in my previous post that I’m specifically looking at the iPhone here – I can’t speak to any other device, this is purely my own observation from spending way too much time making emoji rebuses.

The new classification system tries harder to be more “organized” but I’m not sure it succeeds. First, another summary before I get into any actual comparison.

Icons across the bottom, and emoji order generally: The order of these is more or less the same with a few changes. Begins with the clock or “frequently used”, goes into faces and human features, followed by nature, food, celebration, activity, travel & places, and objects & symbols. The icon images have changed a little – a smiley face stands for People, an evergreen tree for Nature, a burger and drink for Food & Drink, a party horn blowing confetti for Celebration, a stick figure running for Activity, a car in front of a building for Travel & Places, and a collage of four symbols (a musical note, an ampersand, a percent sign, and another symbol that I actually have no idea what it is – help? Seems like it could be either a mathematical symbol or an electrical symbol) which stands for Objects & Symbols.

As with the previous system, the reasoning seems to be more or less the same. “General” human activities and emotions are first shown as yellow smilies, and then we get into families and careers (sorta?) as denoted by headgear. These people are yellow but in cases where there’s a single person shown, you can hold down your finger on the image and have your choice of skin tone.

Now with diversity
Now with diversity

With the multi-person images (like the families), yellow is the only option for skin color. Note that the only career headgear options for women, as in the world of Barbie, are Royalty (crown) and Bride (veil) while male characters get a strange melange of both careers and hat/hair choices: Random Crewcut Dude, Police Officer, Turban Guy (famously known before as the Only Brown-Skinned Emoji), etc. Also, now you can have two males or two females kissing or having a little heart between them (before I think there were same-sex couples holding hands, though I can’t be positive since I can’t find an image of the last version before the most recent update — although in the old version shown in the previous post, there’s definitely only an opposite-sex couple holding hands).

For some reason I feel like Objects and Symbols now is way more confusing than it used to be, and I’m not positive there’s a real reason for that because it seems to be about as much of a dumping ground now as it was before, but in my next post I’ll get into actual comparison between the two.

To jog my memory for next time I want to make sure to talk about Confusing Symbols or, symbols I’ve seen used to mean two different things; trouble finding emojis in the new system; overlapping classification; and masters of emoji art. I know you can’t wait!!!


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