Apple is hiding a smile behind its new mask emoji

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In a move that, I’m sure, has absolutely no relation to anything going on in the world today, Apple has quietly updated its “Face with Medical Mask” emoji with friendlier eyes, eyebrows, and rosy cheeks. Before, it looked a little lethargic. Now, it’s almost happy? You can practically imagine a smile underneath.

Except you don’t have to imagine. Wait for it:

GIF: Emojipedia

As Emojipedia points out, the new emoji is literally Apple’s existing “Smiling Face” with a mask on top. Do you think the artist was imagining a frown under there? Probably not.

Juxtaposition: Emojipedia

It’s just the latest way that emoji have evolved to express the anguish of 2020 — even as other emoji are getting delayed until 2021. It’s also the latest way that Korea appears to have a jump on the United States where masks are concerned, seeing how Samsung beat Apple to the idea of a happier mask back in March:

The full Emojipedia piece is a neat look at how a symbol like this can evolve. iOS 14.2 is due out sometime this fall.

This is also probably a good time to remind you that submitting your own emoji is remarkably easy. Here’s how my colleague successfully made the yawning face and waffle emoji that you use today. Seriously!

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