Multiple sources who have gotten their hands on the iOS 9.1 beta are now reporting that Apple included its most important emoji additions yet. Not only are track-ready snacks such as tacos and burritos part of the release, but rejoice, motorsports PR wonks everywhere: there are finally “racing car” and “racing motorcycle” emoji.
(Even the emoji update itself was celebrated by at least one corporate Twitter account. 🍆)
According to Unicode, the folks who set computing industry standards for text, the race car emoji was included with the release of Unicode 7.0 in June 2014. However, as Gizmodo explains in their extensive write-up of how emoji go from a Unicode release to your fingertips, it is up to individual vendors such as Google and Apple to integrate them into their systems: either as full-color miniature images, black and white characters or not at all.
Furthermore, the Unicode 9.0 release isn’t showing up in any of the numerous screenshots of iOS 9.1’s new emoji keyboards. Sorry, adherents of the cult of race bacon: there won’t be an emoji for fatty porky breakfast strips just yet despite bacon’s inclusion in Unicode 9.0. Gizmodo reports that Unicode 9.0 is still in the “candidate” phase, which means that you won’t get emoji bacon from anyone until at least next year.
Ignore the foodstuffs for a second, though, because we (as in Black Flag) finally get something much, much more important than your breakfast order: a race car! Sure enough, we’ve got a little red formula car showing up in the beta screenshots for iOS 9.1.
Unicode describes character 1F3CE as a “racing car,” and also includes a black and white version of it.
Emojipedia lists Emoji One as the only other vendor who has added the racing car. Emoji One’s version is also a red open-wheel racer, but features white stripes down the center.
They didn’t leave out the two-wheelers, either. Character 1F3CD (also from Unicode 7.0) is a racing motorcycle. It’s a retro-style grey motorbike that includes a tiny number, but would also work for regular ol’ two-wheel transportation. So far, a bicycle (🚲) is the only two-wheeled transportation device I can type on the current iOS release, so the addition of anything with a motor is a huge improvement for anyone who’s run out of characters on a Lanesplitter tweet.
Like the race car, Emoji One is the only other vendor who has made a full-color version of the race bike, per Emojipedia. Emoji One’s version is a little blue-suited racer atop a red sportbike.
Apple is clearly getting ahead of everyone on their latest 🏁-happy emoji keyboard release, so hopefully other vendors such as Google and Twitter won’t be far behind.
Unicode 7.0 also lists the racing car and racing motorcycle under the “Sport symbols” category, which ought to settle another debate...right? (One can only dream on that one.)
For better or for worse, the most emoji-happy social media account is NASCAR’s Twitter presence, and the new race car emoji is most definitely not a NASCAR racer. It’s really hard to shrink down a regular car-style silhouette and add recognizable numbers, though. The racing motorcycle is alternately listed as just “motorcycle” in Unicode’s documentation, as those microscopic numbers won’t even be legible when the motorbike is used in an Instagram caption.
Generality is one of the defining characteristics for an emoji to be approved. Gizmodo cites the generic sushi emoji as one such example: you know it’s sushi, but you don’t need to make sushi for every type of fish or roe for users to recognize it as sushi.
The same principle applies to Unicode’s approach to race cars. You can instantly recognize an F1 car as a race car. A touring car, stock car or GT racer shrunk down to a miniature character-sized image would be much harder to identify as anything more than just a cooler car image. (Seriously, what’s with the odd little peanut car on iOS? Can we lobby to change it to a 911, please?)
So, who will be the first non-Ferrari F1 team to tweet out a little red racer? I’d imagine Lotus/Renault/whoever-they’ll-be-next-year will make the little goat fart on it, like this: 🐐💨🚗.
iOS 9.1 is expected to arrive sometime next year.
[H/T Blake Zebra-Toots Rong and Nismo]
Photo credits: Getty Images/Apple via Emojipedia
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