Apple and Tim Cook have made it exceedingly clear that they are on a quest to improve our country’s perceived challenges with inclusion. Between their published diversity report initiative and Tim Cook’s public dissatisfaction with anti-gay laws, the company is using their corporate muscle in an attempt to make an impact on the acceptance and inclusion of all different types of people. One subtle effort was made today in Apple’s latest update to their iOS software for iPhones, iPod Touches, and iPads. 

Aside from a variety of bug fixes and software optimizations (outlined below), the company added a slew of racially diverse Emoji’s for use when expressing how you feel through faces. Interestingly enough, these new Emoji’s are not backwards compatible. While likely unintentional, some of the non non-Caucasian Emojis come through as potentially and offensively different Emoji faces on non-updated devices. The following is an example of a Tweeter in shock regarding the Emoji backward compatibility issue as initially reported by Mashable:


So if alien in a box pop up when using a ” black person ” emoji is Apple trying come for us? are they trying to say we look like aliens?!10:04 PM – Apr 8, 2015Twitter Ads info and privacySee ChasityKnight’s other Tweets

While such a crude conversion is borderline offensive, something to consider is that the old software does not have the new images to pull in when someone sends a new Emoji. In this process, Apple did a complete overhaul of their Emoji library and likely did away with many of the older less-used Emojis; such as the alien. (Let’s be honest, when was the last time you were wanting to express your alien emotions in a text?) As a result, it seems the new and old database references were poorly and unintentionally. I’m sure we can expect a public apology from Apple in the coming days for their mistake. 

Additionally, Apple’s effort to squash software bugs were not minimal. Check out all of the improvements they are making in this update per Apple’s website:

Improved performance for:

    •    App launch

    •    App responsiveness

    •    Messages

    •    Wi-Fi

    •    Control Center

    •    Safari tabs

    •    3rd-party keyboards

    •    Keyboard shortcuts

    •    Simplified Chinese keyboard

Wi-Fi and Bluetooth fixes

    •    Fixes an issue where you could be continuously prompted for login credentials

    •    Addresses an issue where some devices disconnect intermittently from Wi-Fi networks

    •    Fixes an issue where hands-free phone calls could become disconnected

    •    Fixes an issue where audio playback could stop working with some bluetooth speakers

Orientation and rotation fixes

    •    Addresses an issue that sometimes prevented rotating back to portrait after having rotated to landscape

    •    Improves performance and stability issues that occurred when rotating the device between portrait and landscape

    •    Fixes an issue where device orientation appeared upside down after pulling the iPhone 6 Plus from your pocket

    •    Resolves an issue that sometimes prevented apps from rotating to correct orientation after switching apps in multitasking

Messages fixes

    •    Address issues that caused group messages to sometimes split

    •    Fixes an issue that sometimes removed the ability to forward or delete individual messages

    •    Resolves an issue that sometimes prevented a preview from appearing when taking a photo in Messages

    •    Adds the ability to report junk messages directly from the Messages app

    •    Adds the ability to filter out iMessages that are not sent by your contacts

Family Sharing fixes

    •    Fixes a bug where certain apps would not launch or update on family members’ devices

    •    Fixes a bug that prevented family members from downloading certain free apps

    •    Increased reliability for Ask to Buy notifications

CarPlay fixes

    •    Fixes an issue where Maps could come up as a black screen

    •    Fixes an issue where the UI could be incorrectly rotated

    •    Fixes an issue where the keyboard could appear on the CarPlay screen when it shouldn’t

Enterprise fixes

    •    Improves reliability of installing and updating enterprise apps

    •    Corrects the time zone of Calendar events created in IBM Notes

    •    Fixes a problem that could cause web clip icons to become generic after restarting

    •    Improves reliability of saving the password for a web proxy

    •    Exchange out-of-office message can now be edited separately for external replies

    •    Improves recovery of Exchange accounts from temporary connection problems

    •    Improves compatibility of VPN and web proxy solutions

    •    Allows use of physical keyboards to log into Safari web sheets, such as for joining a public Wi-FI network

    •    Fixes an issue that caused Exchange meetings with long notes to be truncated

Accessibility fixes

    •    Fixes an issue where using the back button in Safari causes VoiceOver gestures to not respond

    •    Fixes an issue where VoiceOver focus becomes unreliable in draft Mail messages

    •    Fixes an issue where Braille Screen Input cannot be used to type text in forms on webpages

    •    Fixes an issue where toggling Quick Nav on a Braille Display announces that Quick Nav is off

    •    Fixes issue keeping app icons from being moveable on home screen when VoiceOver is enabled

    •    Fixes an issue in Speak Screen where speech will not start again after pausing

Other improvements and bug fixes

    •    Introduces a redesigned Emoji keyboard with over 300 new characters

    •    iCloud Photo Library has been optimized to work with the new Photos app on OS X 10.10.3 and is now out of beta

    •    Improves the pronunciation of street names during turn-by-turn navigation in Maps

    •    Includes support for Baum VarioUltra 20 and VarioUltra 40 braille displays

    •    Improves the display of Spotlight results when Reduce Transparency is turned on

    •    Adds Italic and Underline format options for iPhone 6 Plus landscape keyboard

    •    Adds the ability to remove shipping and billing addresses used with Apple Pay

    •    Additional language and country support for Siri: English (India, New Zealand), Danish (Denmark), Dutch (Netherlands), Portuguese (Brazil), Russian (Russia), Swedish (Sweden), Thai (Thailand), Turkish (Turkey)

    •    Additional dictation languages: Arabic (Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates) and Hebrew (Israel)

    •    Improves stability for Phone, Mail, Bluetooth connectivity, Photos, Safari tabs, Settings, Weather and Genius Playlists in Music

    •    Address an issue where Slide to Unlock could fail to work on certain devices

    •    Addresses an issue that sometimes prevented swiping to answer a phone call on the Lock screen

    •    Addresses an issue that prevented opening links in Safari PDFs

    •    Fixes an issue where selecting Clear History and Website Data in Safari Settings did not clear all data

    •    Fixes an issue that prevented autocorrecting “FYI”

    •    Addresses an issue where contextual predictions did not appear in Quick Reply

    •    Fixes an issue where Maps did not enter night mode from hybrid mode

    •    Resolves an issue that prevented initiating FaceTime calls from a browser or 3rd-party app using FaceTime URLs

    •    Fixes an issue that sometimes prevented photos from properly exporting to Digital Camera Image folders on Windows

    •    Fixes an issue that sometimes prevented an iPad backup from completing with iTunes

    •    Fixes an issue that could cause Podcast downloads to stall when switching from Wi-Fi to cellular networks

    •    Fixes an issue where remaining time on timer would sometimes incorrectly display as 00:00 on Lock screen

    •    Fixes an issue that sometimes prevented adjusting call volume

    •    Fixes an issues that caused the status bar to sometimes appear when it shouldn’t

That is quite the list of bugs. I don’t know what I’m more impressed by, the number of bugs they fixed or the fact that they had that many bugs to fix in the first place. Regardless, iOS is a better place now as a result. 

What are your thoughts on Apple’s new update and Emojis? Are you glad Apple is supporting diversity? Or  are you frustrated that they might be intentionally (or unintentionally) insulting certain races with their crude conversions? Let us know in the comments below.