Emoji diversity: iOS 8.3 Beta adds more color, more flags from around the world, and more

Emoji diversity: iOS 8.3 Beta adds more color, more flags from around the world, and more
Next month, iOS 8.3 will be made available as a public beta test, with Apple hoping to recreate the success it had with a similar rollout for its OS X Yosemite update last year.

Unlike other public betas however, Apple expects you to earn your keep if you happen to get one of the coveted 100,000 available spots for the preview of iOS version 8.3. Beta testers will get a dedicated app to report bugs and such.

While those signed up for the AppleSeed program wait for their opportunity to get the beta, the rest of us are simply interested in what iOS 8.3 may bring to the user experience. Like any iOS update, the changes are fairly incremental, but iOS 8.3 beta 2 has already pushed to developers, so we get to take a look at what is inside.

Most noticeably, there is a wider selection of emojis to choose from, reflecting the diversity of ethnicity around the world. Speaking of the world, more flags have been added as well. Expect to see some images updated in the “objects & symbols” area, notably those of the iPhone reflecting an iPhone 6 image, and the watch resembling well, an Apple Watch.

Other enhancements lie beneath the surface. iOS 8.3 will bring improved login for Google services, as well as updated voices and languages for Siri including Russian, Danish, Dutch, Thai, Turkish, Portugese, and Swedish. Chinese support for Apple Pay should be fully enabled by its release. One thing not supported in the iOS 8.3 beta is Verizon LTE voice.

We have not yet had iOS 8.2 officially drop yet, so it is a safe bet that iOS 8.3 beta testing is going to last a while, meaning we will not likely see these new features until this summer.


sources: 9to5Mac via Engadget; images from @AndLup
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