Apple adds 300 new emojis to the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch– giving users access to a new iPhone Emoji keyboard and the option to change the skin tone or skin color of the new emojis.
This guide will show you what you need to know about the new emojis on iPhone and how to use the new emoji keyboard found on iOS 8.3. If you don’t see these options on your iPhone or iPad you’ll need to follow this guide to update to iOS 8.3.
The bulk of the new emojis are from more diverse emoji options that allow users to choose between six skin tone or skin color options for many emoji, but that’s not all that Apple adds. There are new emojis for the Apple Watch, new families and new flags to name a few.
You can choose the color of many, but not all the new emojis in iOS 8.3 and if you want you can set the default skin color for new emojis in iOS 8.3. You need to choose the color for each emoji, which lets you tailor the new emojis to your friends and conversations instead of choosing one skin tone for every emoji.
Here is a closer look at the new emojis in iOS 8.3 that you’ll find on the new and improved iPhone Emoji keyboard in iOS 8.3 and that we expect will continue in future updates.
How to Use New Emojis on iOS 8.3
You no longer need to turn the Emoji keyboard on when you use the iPhone. Apple includes a smile face button on the standard keyboard that offers fast access to the emoji keyboard. After you update to iOS 8.3 you will see the new emojis on this keyboard and you can now scroll through all of them without tapping on new categories. The new emoji keyboard for iPhone also shows more emoji on-screen at once.
To use the new emojis, tap on the smile face. If you don’t see a smile face you may see a globe, that shows up when you use other keyboards. Tap on the globe to switch to emoji.
Now you can tap on any of the new emojis once to add them to your message. You can use these anywhere, but you can only count on seeing the new colors on devices that are also updated to iOS 8.3. When you send these to an unsupported device they will see the default color option for emoji on their device.
Tap and hold on the people emoji to see options to change the skin tone. Tap on the skin tone you want to add to your message. You can only do this on the actual faces, not the smile faces, and on the hands. You cannot change the skin tone of families, although there are new families with two dads and two moms included in the new emojis.
If you don’t want to always tap and tap on the new emojis, you can set the default skin tone for the new emojis on iOS 8.3. You need to do this for each emoji that you can change the color of. Tap and hold on the emoji until the picker appears. Then tap and hold on the skin tone you want to be the default for that emoji. You can repeat this as needed to pick the emoji color you want.
After you choose a default emoji skin tone you can still choose a different color or change the default. Tap and hold and then tap on the color you want to use or tap and hold to change the default emoji color again.
New Emojis in iOS 8.3
The new emojis in iOS 8.3 include a variety of changes to the skin tone or skin color, a new Apple Watch icon, an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus and many new flags. You can see some of these new emoji in the screenshots below. The option to add skin tone delivered a little humor as Sisqo discovered the new emojis work well in his famous song, although it also looks like Wesley Snipes in Demolition Man.
Check out what’s new in iOS 8.3 in the slides below. There are almost 70 published changes and major fixes in the free iOS 8.3 update.
New iPhone Emoji in iOS 8.3
Apple adds over 300 new iPhone emoji in iOS 8.3. There are new Emoji like the Apple Watch and a new Mac, but most users will focus on the addition of more family choices including more kids, families of two men or two women and now there is an option to change the skin tone of many emoji.
Read: How to Use New Emojis
With this update you can tap and hold to choose the skin tone of an emoji icon for many emoji options and then tap to pick the color option. Tap and hold on a new color option to make it the default.
The iOS 8.3 emoji keyboard for iPhone now offers continuous scrolling so it is easier to scroll through the emoji options and find the ones you want.