In a move that, I’m sure, has absolutely nothing to do with anything happening in the world today, Apple has quietly updated the “Face with Medical Mask” emoji with friendlier eyes, eyebrows and rosy cheeks. Before, it looked a bit dull. Now it’s almost happy? You can practically imagine a smile underneath.
Except you do not have to imagine. Wait for it:
As Emojipedia points out, the new emoji is literal Apple’s existing “Smiling Face” with a mask on top. Do you think the artist imagined a wrinkled wrinkle below? Probably not.
It’s just the last way emoji have evolved to express anguish in 2020 – even when other emoji are delayed until 2021. It’s also the last way Korea seems to have a jump on the US in terms of masks, and see Samsung hit Apple with the idea of a happier mask back in March:
The whole Emojipedia piece is a nice look at how a symbol like this can develop. iOS 14.2 will be released sometime this fall.
This is probably also a good time to remind yourself that it’s incredibly easy to submit your own emoji. This is how my colleague made the yawning face and waffle emoji you use today. Seriously!