When iOS 10 comes to iPhones around the world this fall, it will usher in several major improvements, from a redesigned lock screen to an all-new Messages app. Now, Apple has announced yet another addition to its forthcoming mobile operating system: 100 new and redesigned characters that will refresh its emoji lineup.
Typically, an announcement like this would hardly be considered news. But, Apple's newest characters don't simply make messaging more fun. They represent the most diverse group of images the company has ever offered in its keyboard.
"This exciting update brings more gender options to existing characters, including new female athletes and professionals, adds beautiful redesigns of popular emoji, a new rainbow flag and more family options," the company explained in a press release.
The tech giant also added that it is working alongside the Unicode Consortium – which is responsible for creating emojis – to make sure its library properly represents "the diversity of people everywhere."
Examples showcased in the release include female runners, bikers and swimmers, as well as construction workers and detectives. New family options include single parents with their children.
Apple also appears to be replacing its emoji depiction of a black handgun with a lime green water gun. Although the image of the toy gun was included in the release, Apple has declined to comment on the change, according to CNBC.
All of these changes will be for texters to make out in iOS 10's new version of iMessage, since emoji will appear considerably larger. The new messaging platform will also allow users to search for emoji directly in their keyboard, rather than scrolling through a lengthy library of images.