As part of Apple's ongoing efforts to address diversity, they continue to offer a much wider array of cultures and ethnicities for face and hand symbols on iPhone and iPad. Face and hand emoji now start off with a "neutral" (i.e. classic yellow) emoji. Each also offers five alternate skin tone options based on the Fitzpatrick scale for standard dermatological representation, as adopted by the Unicode Consortium.
In layman's terms, you can change your face and hand emoji to display the skin tone you prefer instead of using the skin color of the characters on The Simpsons. You likely already know how to use emoji, and changing the skin tone is just as easy.
How to enter the new, diverse emoji on your iPhone or iPad
- Tap the globe key to switch to the emoji keyboard as usual.
- Tap and hold down on a face or hand emoji to bring up the selector.
Tap on the skin tone variant you want to use.
You can do this as often as you want by following the steps above; however, your iPhone or iPad will remember which skin tone you selected and set that as the default until you chose to change it once again.
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Updated December 2018: Updated this article to reflect the changes in iOS 12.