Official emoji debut for disabled folks, service dogs, waffles and more

A gaggle of new emoji have just been approved by the Unicode Consortium, meaning they’ll be standard across any platforms that choose to support them. This batch includes some much-needed representation for people with various disabilities, new animals from guide dogs to otters, food and many more objects.

Folks with disabilities get a nice variety of new emoji, though of course these aren’t exhaustive (for example, how do you represent a learning disability or mental illness?). Still, Apple’s proposal for the new emoji points out the necessity of, for example, having both mechanical and manual wheelchairs:

The type of assistive technology that is used by individuals is very personal and mandated by their own disability need. For someone who cannot self-propel and therefore uses an electric wheelchair, it would not be realistic to only show a manual chair. For those who can use a manual version, it would not be realistic to insinuate that they have less mobility than they do. Therefore, [...]  read more

Twitter updates level the playing field for emoji character counts

Practically, this means that now every emoji counts as the same amount of characters, thus making things a little more equal on the microblogging service.

According to Twitter global lead developer advocate Andy Piper, “This update marks significant progress for our service, and everyone can now benefit from the additional room to express themselves with more characters…” This new change comes about a year after Twitter doubled the max character count from 140 to 280 and just weeks after Twitter announced an option to return to the chronological feed.

social experiment by Livio Acerbo #greengroundit #engadget

Instagram’s emoji shortcuts help you comment in record time

If you can’t post comments without tossing in at least one emoji to make your feelings clear, you’ll be glad to know that Instagram has your back. After months of testing, Instagram has introduced an emoji shortcut bar on Android and iOS that offers quick access to your most-used icons when wading into a post’s comments. You won’t have to sift through your phone keyboard’s emoji selection when you want to heart someone’s touching moment or tell them their new look is fire.

social experiment by Livio Acerbo #greengroundit #engadget

‘Emojiland’ review: Come for the 💩, stay for the 💗

Actually, I need to take a minute to talk about Skull, played with sultry self-importance by Jordon Bolden. He’s not necessarily the most complex character in the show — that honor arguably belongs to Harrison’s Smize, with her undercurrent of existential anguish. Still, Skull is the one that most directly grapples with the absurdity of his world, and as the embodiment of death, he occupies a singularly driven role. He’s brooding, self-obsessed and ultimately over everything, including himself.

Skull’s raison d’être is to not have a raison d’être at all, and in Nerd Face he sees an inquisitive soul with the insight and resourcefulness needed to help him die — sorry, I mean “be deleted.” Once Nerd Face’s research yields a virus that can delete not only Skull but also everyone, however, Skull all too quickly turns the corner. Within moments, he goes from disaffected loner to engineer of emoji-nocide. That deep-rooted nihilism [...]  read more

‘Emojiland’ blends musical theater and existential angst

The real surprise is that such a show — Emojiland, which makes its off-Broadway premiere tonight as part of the New York Musical Festival — seems set to defy expectations. That’s because married co-creators Keith and Laura Harrison haven’t just spent the last four years writing a musical about emoji. They spent the last four years writing, staging, performing and rewriting a musical about emoji, all in hopes of sharing a piece of art with real emotional resonance.

Let’s get a few things straight up-front. Yes, every character in the show is an emoji. Yes, there’s an actual narrative here. All of the action is contained within a phone that has just received a software update and, sure enough, things start to go awry very quickly. And no, humans aren’t a part of this story (though they sort of were in earlier drafts).

Thankfully, the Harrisons understood that trying to create a valuable piece of art about emoji of all things meant having to grapple with [...]  read more

Google is resurrecting blob emoji again

Fans of Google’s now-dead blob emoji have a reason to be happy today. The company announced that it’s resurrecting its cute, flatly designed characters, albeit as a sticker pack for Gboard and Android Messages, as spotted by The Verge. What’s the occasion? Well, it’s World Emoji Day, of course. This isn’t a direct replacement for the standard circular emoji Google adopted after unceremoniously killing its own version off, but if you’re feeling nostalgic for a time before Android O it should do the trick. Now, Google has done this before, on World Emoji Day last year to be exact, but the adorable ‘lil guys were imprisoned in Allo which put a damper on the festivities. Thankfully, the search juggernaut seems to have learned it’s better to wait before sending a drunk announcement this time.

social experiment by Livio Acerbo #greengroundit #engadget