New emoji face a delay of six months due to the coronavirus pandemic, the body which maintains and regulates the library of characters has revealed.
Emoji 13.0, the 2020 batch due to go out in autumn, will still go ahead as planned, but 2021’s line-up has been pushed back by six months.
The announcement of Emoji 14.0’s selection will now take place in the September instead of March, meaning they will not appear on smartphones until 2022 given they can take several months to be implemented by device makers.
Given that the Unicode Consortium which looks after emoji relies on volunteers, it is unable to stick with its usual release schedule, the non-profit’s president Mark Davis said.
“Under the current circumstances we’ve heard that our contributors have a lot on their plates at the moment and decided it was in the best interests of our volunteers and the organisations that depend on the standard to push out our release date,” Mr Davis explained.
“This year we simply can’t commit to the same schedule we’ve adhered to in the past.”
🤏 Possible there will be a minor emoji release for 2021, comprised only of emoji sequences: Emoji 13.1— Jeremy Burge (@jeremyburge) April 8, 2020
📜 Both Emoji 4.0 (2016) & Emoji 12.1 (2019) were sequence-only updates, but these were in years that also had a major update https://t.co/bKp6SuBJg1 https://t.co/hemyShJ1TI
Jeremy Burge, who runs the Emojipedia reference website, said: “No emojis had been confirmed for Emoji 14.0 as yet, but provisional candidates include crow, cooking pot, finger heart…
“If any of these make the cut for 14.0 (no guarantees), they won’t come to phones now until 2022, due to the post-Covid Unicode release schedule.”
However, the consortium said it is “considering” whether it is possible to release emoji sequences instead, which are small variants of the 13.0 pack rather than completely new ones.