iPhone and Android won't get any new emoji in 2021 because of the coronavirus

iPhone and Android won't get any new emoji in 2021 because of the coronavirus
Medical mask emoji

Emojipedia/Charlie Floyd/Business Insider


The medical mask emoji.

  • No new emoji will be coming out next year due to the knock-on effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The Unicode Consortium, a non-profit responsible for releasing standardized sets of new emoji for Android and iOS, said it is having to postpone submissions of emoji for its 14.0 release by six months.
  • 117 new emoji are already scheduled to come to phones this year.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

One knock-on effect of the coronavirus pandemic is that 2021 will be bereft of new emoji.

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The non-profit which releases standardized sets of emoji for Android and iOS said on Wednesday it was postponing the release of its next set of standards by six months from March to September 2021.

"This delay will [...] impact related specifications and data, such as new emoji characters," the Unicode Consortium said.


As Unicode explains in its post, emoji that are approved by the consortium in January generally don't make it onto phones until about September. The new six-month delay pegs the deadline for Unicode 14.0 emoji submissions to September 2021 - meaning approved new emoji won't see the light of day until 2022.

"Under the current circumstances we've heard that our contributors have a lot on their plates at the moment and decided it was in the best interests of our volunteers and the organizations that depend on the standard to push out our release date. This year we simply can't commit to the same schedule we've adhered to in the past," President of the Consortium Mark Davis said in a statement.

Emoji historian and head of Emojipedia Jeremy Burge tweeted that while no new emoji had officially been slated for 14.0, provisional candidates included "crow," "cooking pot," and "finger heart."

The Consortium said it is possible there will be a limited release of new emojis based off those already released in 13.0, but this isn't certain.

A total of 117 new emoji will be coming to phones later this year as part of Unicode's 13.0 standard already gained approval in January.


New emoji on the way for 2020 include bubble tea, the transgender flag, and a woolly mammoth. These emoji are likely to start appearing on phones in the second half of this year.

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