updated 10:55 am EDT, Tue June 17, 2014
Non-white emoji still lacking
The Unicode Consortium has announced the next revision of its font character standard, v7.0. It now incorporates over 2,834 more characters, including 23 historic scripts, and new currency symbols for the Russian ruble and Azerbaijani manat. One of the more significant additions is the inclusion of over 250 new emoji characters. The Consortium notes that most of these are well-established elsewhere, having previously been a part of the Wingdings and Webdings fonts.
Conspicuously absent are more racially diverse emoji. Although there are exceptions, most of the human emoji are depicted as white, leaving other people underrepresented. In March, Apple and the Consortium said they were working on improving diversity, but that doesn't appear to have been finished in time. Updated characters could be ready in time for iOS 8 this fall, but there are no new characters in the current iOS 8 beta, and it would be a relatively rapid turnaround if Unicode updated its standard months later.