Another year, another batch of new emoji: the early list of emoticons coming to different smartphones and chat platforms is here, with some choice picks.
Released by Emojipedia to coincide with World Emoji Day (July 17) these examples are subject to change, but we've already been through the list and picked out some ones we hope are in the final build.
The two that TechRadar members have picked out are the smiling emoji which is melting into a puddle, and the deadpan face that's saluting - both seem like sarcastic or sassy responses that we're looking forward to using in conversation (or in lieu of conversation) in the near future.
The salute emoji seems designed for when you're dryly agreeing to do something, making it clear you think it's a bad idea, without explicitly saying as much. The melting face embodies the 'everything is fine' meme, where the world is on fire but you're still smiling.
The rest of the list is a pretty odd grab-bag of emoji, with no clear themes like we sometimes see. There's a troll (folklore style, not internet), a sea anenome, a collection of pregnant people of multiple genders, a disco ball, some kidney beans, a life preserver, a slide, a tyre, loads of different hand gestures in a range of skin tones, and more.
We can see some of these being useful, and the drive for diversity and representation is once again welcome, but we're struggling to picture a conversation in which 'bird nest in branch with eggs' would fit naturally.
Emoji 14.0 is to be finalized in September 2021. Here's on the latest draft list https://t.co/IAahiILGA0 pic.twitter.com/1GPyHxZnWuJuly 15, 2021
When can I get the emoji on iOS or Android?
You can't start using these emoji straight away - there's a process that has to be followed.
The news right now is that Unicode, the official arbiters of emoji, have decided on a rough draft of the emoji that'll come to more devices in the future.
Final approval is pending until September 2021, and the design may change. Once the finished list has been drawn up Google, Apple, Facebook and other companies will start designing their own versions of these icons. These resulting emoji won't be completely different from the originals, just spin-offs in each company's house style.
Then, the companies will start rolling out the emoji to their devices or platforms in the months after. It might be too early for Android 12 or iOS 15, but perhaps smaller sub-updates afterwards could bring the little figures.
So expect to see these emoji popping up on your phone or device - and look forward to sassing people with the smiling melt or deadpan salute - towards the end of 2021 or beginning of 2022.
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Tom Bedford was deputy phones editor on TechRadar until late 2022, having worked his way up from staff writer. Though he specialized in phones and tablets, he also took on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK and now works for the entertainment site What To Watch.
He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working on TechRadar, he freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist. He also currently works in film as a screenwriter, director and producer.