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Apple publishes expanded emoji character set in latest iOS update

Apple has responded to criticism that its yellow emoji characters are ‘racist’ by publishing an expanded range featuring six skin tones.

The update is rolling out with iOS 8.3 and includes more than 300 newly introduced icons together with a redesigned keyboard which allows the desired race to be selected by holding down the chosen emoji.

Used to add personality to text messages the emoticon system was first introduced in Japan but has subsequently taken over the world, necessitating a need to improve diversity.

Amongst the new roster of images are compatibility with a Vulcan salute character, as well as 32 new nation state flag carrying emoji’s for patriots.

The new feature set still hasn’t fully won over all users however with the emergence of a ginger emoji campaign, which calls for the addition of redheaded characters in addition to blondes and brunettes.

Redehead fan website Ginger Parrot, which is backing the campaign, wrote: “Natural redheads may be rare at less than 2% of the world's population, but that is 138,000,000 iPhones waiting to happen."

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