Spice up your messaging game with the 31 new emoticons arriving with iOS 16.4

New emoji characters, like a shaking face or new heart colors, are available on the iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch and Apple TV with iOS 16.4 and other updates.

Images of several new emoticons being consider for Emoji 15, including a shaking face, pushing hands, a pink heart, a light-blue heart, a grey heart, a donkey, a moose, a black bird and jellyfish
Some of the new emoticons being considered for Emoji 15 | Image: Emojipedia
  • What’s happening? iOS 16.4 adds 31 new emoji characters, announced in July 2022 as part of the Emoji Consortium’s 5.0 specification.
  • Why care? Are you serious? Everyone loves emoticons!
  • What to do? Install iOS 16.4 when it launches publicly.

31 new emoji in iOS 16.4

The new emoji are available across the iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple TV and Apple Watch devices via iOS 16.4, iPadOS 16.4, macOS Ventura 13.3, tvOS 16.4 and watchOS 9.4.

Among the new emoticons are shaking face, plain pink heart, light blue heart, grey heart, blackbird, donkey, jellyfish, hair pick, comb, pushing hands, flute, ginger, goose, wing, folding hand fan, pea pod, hyacinth, maracas, Khanda (the symbol of the Sikh faith) and several left and right-facing pushing hands in multiple skin tones.

The Emoji Consortium proposed the new emoji in July 2022, finalizing them in September of the same year. Operating system providers including Apple, Microsoft and Google implement emoji graphics based on the official specification, but each vendor applies its own art style to these expressive characters.

How to get the new emoji in iOS 16.4

Of course, you’ll need to update your devices to get the new emoji characters. If you’re brave enough, you can install the iOS 16.4 beta right now via beta.apple.com. Or, preferably, just wait a few weeks until the updates launch publicly.

If you decide to install the betas, remember that people running previous versions of Apple’s operating systems won’t be able to see the new emoji you send them.

Is it wise to jump on the iOS 16.4 beta?

It’s best to avoid installing prerelease software on devices you depend on. The first iOS 16.4 beta dropped on February 16, 2023. Apple will spend a few weeks testing the upcoming updates before they’re released to all users in the spring.