iMessage Has Emoji-Related Bug Dating Back Several iOS Versions

Apple released iOS 11.2.1 on Wednesday with multiple bug fixes, but an emoji-related issue continues to affect the Messages app on iOS devices.


The bug happens as follows: start a fresh conversation with a new recipient in the Messages app, send a single emoji as the first message, and the entire interface will essentially go blank with the top menu disappearing.

The glitch effectively renders the Messages app unusable until it is force closed and reopened through the multitasking menu.

The bug has affected most iPhone, iPad, and likely iPod touch models since at least iOS 11.1.2. MacRumors is able to reproduce the issue on iOS 11.2, iOS 11.2.1, and the first iOS 11.2.5 beta released yesterday.

The issue is prevalent in both iMessage conversations with blue bubbles and SMS conversations with green bubbles.

While this bug is a minor one, it adds to a growing list of issues that have surfaced over the past several versions of iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra, including a major Mac vulnerability that provided easy access to the root superuser.

Beyond the root bug, Apple has also dealt with a HomeKit-related vulnerability, an iPhone camera autofocus issue, iOS autocorrect bugs, and iPhone X glitches in cold weather, among other problems, in recent weeks.

We've alerted Apple about this bug shortly prior to publishing this article and we'll provide an update if and when we learn about a fix.


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Apple Devices Could Have Reversible Emoji Next Year

The Unicode Consortium has proposed new guidelines that would allow for reversible emoji. In other words, emojis such as a car or train that currently face to the left or right only would be able to face either direction.

Reversible emoji mockup via Emojipedia

Apple and other vendors would be able to choose which emoji can be reversible on their devices, if any, according to their preferences.

The guidelines are still a draft that should be finalized by time the next major batch of over 100 new emoji characters are made available for companies like Apple to implement starting in the second half of 2018.

The Unicode Consortium has also introduced a handful of new emoji candidates for the second half of 2018, including a swan, badger, infinity, and pirate flag, according to Jeremy Burge at Emojipedia.org.

Unfortunately, for true emoji aficionados, it looks like "Frowning Pile Of Poo" and two other faces haven't made the cut for the next batch.

Emoji 11.0, proposed earlier this year, currently includes 130 new emoji candidates. Some notable inclusions are faces with red hair, faces with no hair, faces with curly or afro hairstyles, and hot and cold faces.


Other candidates include new superheroes, a firecracker, a fire extinguisher, a test tube, a lacrosse stick with ball, a softball, and a bagel.


The timeline means that iPhones and iPads could support both the new and reversible emoji in iOS 12 or iOS 12.1 around September to November of next year. The new batch should extend to the Mac as well in a future macOS update.

The emoji included in this article are sample images by Emojipedia.org and could vary slightly from Apple's final designs.

Tag: emoji

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Apple Says ‘Face With Tears of Joy’ is Most Popular Emoji in United States Among English Speakers

Apple has revealed that "face with tears of joy" is the most popular emoji among English speakers in the United States.

The face topped Apple's list of the top 10 emoji, ahead of a red heart, loudly crying face, heart eyes face, face throwing a kiss, face with rolling eyes, skull, smiling face with smiling eyes, weary face, and thinking face.

Apple's chart isn't labeled, much to the disappointment of anyone who was desperately seeking emoji statistics.


Apple's list of the top 10 emoji is mostly consistent with public data available from Emojipedia and EmojiTracker, with the skull being an exception, according to Unicode's Emoji Subcommittee vice-chair Jeremy Burge.

Apple shared the chart in a recently published overview of its differential privacy technology on macOS Sierra and iOS 10 and later, which allows the company to collect and aggregate anonymized data from a large number of users while preserving the privacy of individual users.
The differential privacy technology used by Apple is rooted in the idea that statistical noise that is slightly biased can mask a user's individual data before it is shared with Apple. If many people are submitting the same data, the noise that has been added can average out over large numbers of data points, and Apple can see meaningful information emerge.
Apple says it uses local differential privacy to help protect the privacy of user activity in a given time period, while still gaining insight that improves the intelligence and usability of iOS and macOS features such as:

• QuickType suggestions
• Emoji suggestions
• Lookup Hints
• Safari Energy Draining Domains
• Safari Autoplay Intent Detection (macOS High Sierra)
• Safari Crashing Domains (iOS 11)
• Health Type Usage (iOS 10.2)

Apple has specifically developed a technique known in the academic world as "local differential privacy":
Local differential privacy guarantees that it is difficult to determine whether a certain user contributed to the computation of an aggregate by adding slightly biased noise to the data that is shared with Apple. But before adding this noise, it's necessary to define a data structure that captures a sketch of user input with a small number of bits. Apple currently makes use of two specific techniques.
In iOS, information being shared with Apple for the categories of data that are protected using Differential Privacy is visible under Settings > Privacy > Analytics > Analytics Data, in entries that begin with "DifferentialPrivacy."

In macOS, users can launch the Console app and view the information under the Differential Privacy category of System Reports.

Apple's differential privacy overview provides many more technical details about the technology, including info about the Count Mean Sketch technique that allows Apple to determine the most popular emoji.


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Frowning Poo and 66 Other New Emojis Proposed for Potential Release in 2018’s Unicode 11

While the new emojis of Unicode 10 have yet to launch, Unicode President Mark Davis this week revealed a collection of new emojis have been added as "draft candidates" for potential release in Unicode 11 in 2018 (via Emojipedia). The news came out of the quarterly Unicode Technical Committee meeting, and up next the Unicode Consortium will decide on the list of final candidates at its Q4 2017 meeting in October, followed by naming the new characters at a meeting in Q1 2018.

Emoji images via Emojipedia and Unicode.org

The 67 new characters proposed for inclusion in Unicode 11 include smiling face with three hearts, smiling face with party hat, blue face with icicles, grinning face with OK as eyes, and an inversion of the well-known poo emoji called "frowning pile of poo."

There's also kangaroo, cupcake, llama, bagel, broom, skateboard, softball, smiling face with cape, and serious face with eye mask and cape. Since Unicode 11 is still so far from release, the list of its included characters and their designs are subject to change.


Closer to release is Unicode 10, which Apple highlighted last month during World Emoji Day by looking at a few of the emojis coming to iOS, macOS, and watchOS later in 2017. New emojis include Woman with Headscarf, Bearded Person, Breastfeeding, Sandwich, Coconut, T-Rex, Zebra, Zombie, Elf, Star-Struck, Exploding Head, and more.

Apple didn't specify a date for the launch of the Unicode 10 characters, but they should appear around the public debut of iOS 11 or soon after. It traditionally takes Apple a few months to include support for new emoji. Last year, the Unicode Consortium released Unicode 9 in June 2016, and then Apple debuted those characters in iOS 10.2 in October 2016.

For a full list of the 67 new emoji candidates in Unicode 11, visit Emojipedia.


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Apple Highlights New Batch of Emoji Coming to iOS, macOS, and watchOS Later This Year

After first giving iTunes an emoji-themed makeover, Apple is continuing its celebration of World Emoji Day with a preview of all-new emoji characters coming to iOS, macOS, and watchOS later in 2017.


The new emoji previewed today by Apple include Woman with Headscarf, Bearded Person, Breastfeeding, Sandwich, Coconut, T-Rex, Zebra, Zombie, Elf, Star-Struck, Exploding Head, and more. All of the emoji shared today were previously included in the new Unicode 10 standard released in June.
The new emoji make it easier for users to express themselves with greater diversity, additional animals and creatures, new smiley faces and more.
Apple didn't specify a launch date for the new line of emoji characters coming to iPhones, iPads, Macs, and Apple Watches this year, but it's expected that they will arrive sometime around the public launch of iOS 11 this fall, or soon thereafter. World Emoji Day celebrations are also extending to the iOS App Store, where Apple said that it has highlighted apps that showcase fun things to do with the smartphone characters.

Tag: emoji

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Apple Celebrates World Emoji Day With an Emoji-Themed Makeover for iTunes Movies

Today, July 17, is celebrated as World Emoji Day thanks to this day being marked on the iOS "calendar" emoji. In celebration, Apple has updated the iTunes Movies storefront with a new emoji-filled carousel that uses the popular smartphone characters to describe recent film releases, as well as older movies.


Some of the films referenced include Kong: Skull Island, Beauty and the Beast, Get Out, Stephen King's It, Logan, Arrival, and more. The iTunes emoji makeover is simply a visual overhaul of the store with no sale prices appearing on any of the participating films.


Apple often updates the iTunes Movies storefront to coincide with new film releases, most recently offering a LEGO makeover to celebrate the digital release of The LEGO Batman Movie. Earlier in June, a few decade-based film collections were put on sale on iTunes to give users the chance to get bundles of films together at lower prices.

(Thanks, Kenneth!)

Tags: iTunes, emoji

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T-Rex, Vampire, Crazy Face, Zombie, Giraffe, and Pie Among Emoji Included in New Unicode 10 Standard

The Unicode Consortium today released version 10.0.0 of the Unicode Standard, introducing 56 new emoji characters ranging from crazy face and face with monocle to t-rex, pie, and pretzel.

Emoji site Emojipedia has details on all of the new emoji that are included in the update, and has shared a sample image featuring visual representations of the new additions.


Some of the new emoji include star-struck, face with raised eyebrow (which Emojipedia says is also known as the "Colbert" face), exploding head, face vomiting, shushing face, face with hand over mouth, love you gesture, palms up together, brain, orange heart, scarf, gloves, coat, socks, zebra, giraffe, hedgehog, sauropod, cricket, coconut, broccoli, dumpling, fortune cookie, pie, cup with straw, and chopsticks.

New child, adult, and older adult emojis in a range of skin tones are included, as are options for person in steamy room, bearded person, mage, fairy, vampire, merperson, elf, genie, person climbing, person in lotus position, and more, with all of those emoji available in multiple skin tones and genders. While there are 56 distinct new emoji characters, gender/skin tone modifiers and flags bring that total to 239.

These new emoji will not be available for Apple products until Apple adds support for Unicode 10, and the actual artwork for each emoji on iOS and Mac devices will be up to Apple to provide.

It typically takes Apple several months to implement support for new emoji, so the Unicode 10 options could be implemented in the fall of 2017. Emoji in Unicode 9, which was released in June of 2016, were added to iOS in iOS 10.2 in October.


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Unicode Proposes Regional Emoji Flags for Next Year

The Unicode Consortium has announced a proposed update to its emoji documentation that provides support for regional flag emojis.

regional-emoji-flags
As noted by Emojipedia, the new functionality and guidelines would allow for Apple and other vendors to implement emojis for regions such as U.S. states, Canadian provinces and territories, or countries of the United Kingdom.

Flags representing California or Texas, for example, or England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, could be added in a future iOS update.

The Unicode Consortium stopped short of recommending specific flags for vendors to support, and it said there is no requirement that any of the regional flags be supported. In other words, Apple in particular would be free to choose which regional flags to add to its iOS and macOS platforms if any.

Emojipedia said the Emoji 5.0 update is likely to be released in the first half of 2017, although an official date has not been specified. The proposed update is currently available for public review and feedback until January 16, 2017.

Some apps such as WhatsApp have already worked around the existing Unicode standards to support flags for England, Scotland, Wales, and other regions.


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Google’s emojitastic Twitter feature is great — when it’s not totally failing

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If you’re on Twitter, you may have noticed people tweeting some pretty questionable emoji at Google.

It all started after Google announced a new feature Tuesday that allows users to tweet emoji to the @Google handle in exchange for search results.

Some tweeted taco and pizza emoji to get suggestions for the best noms. Some tweeted flower emoji to get suggestions for the best flower shops nearby.

But of course, we were more curious about how we could troll the new feature. We tweeted a few of our favorite emoji innuendos, and Google was pretty down to play along.  Read more…

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There’s a very good reason to tweet emoji at Google right now

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Your friends know what it means when you text them a burger emoji — you’re hungry! 🍔 — but Google sure doesn’t. 

Or didn’t, we should say: Because starting today, Google will be able to interpret emoji via its Twitter handle. Simply tweet an emoji to @Google and the service will give you relevant results.

So, if you want to find the best burger in your area, all you have to do is tweet the burger emoji at Google, which takes just a matter of seconds. The account will then respond with a link to a Google search for “burgers nearby,” displaying a map with restaurant listings. Read more…

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