Next year's emoji update will be delayed by six months

You can probably guess why.

TENGKU BAHAR via Getty Images

While this year’s crop of new emoji is set and ready to go, the coronavirus pandemic has pushed the Unicode Consortium to delay version 14 by about six months. That means instead of debuting in March 2021, the new additions will be announced in September and likely not included in apps or devices until months after that.

Current conditions have upended development and projects around the world, and it’s easy to see that on the list of priorities to address first, the various parties behind the standard have more pressing things to deal with. Consortium president Mark Davis said in a statement that “This year we simply can’t commit to the same schedule we’ve adhered to in the past.”

Instead of a full update, the notice mentions that the consortium is considering a 13.1 update in the meantime based on emoji sequences that combine existing characters, so it could hit phones in 2021.