It seem like it took forever, at least over a year! Apple and Unicode have been working on creating new emojis that represent people of color after it became clear that Unicode had shut entire races out of their text app — finally it’s here. Or at least on its way.
The new characters include a Santa Claus with six different skin tones, as well as policeman and flags from 32 countries.
The new emojis are being trialled on iOS X 10.10.3 and iOS 8.3 beta 2. Users will be able to choose the skin tone of each emoji by tapping and holding each icon.
However, the emoji have already been criticised on social media, particularly the decision to include a yellow tone.
Emoji have emerged as a trend from Japan, where the term literally means “picture + letter.”
Before the update there were only three characters which appeared to represent non-western people. These were a man wearing a cossack hat, a man wearing a turban, and a man wearing a traditional Chinese skull cap with noticeably smaller and more slanted eyes.
The new range of characters will become available to iPhone users when they download the latest iOS software update.
You’ll have to wait to get your hands on the official Apple emoji update, or if you’re really excited to be the first to text your friend a Black Santa, you can pay $100 for a developer account. Apple is reportedly planning a public release in mid-March.