Apple to introduce new racially-diverse emoji featuring people with different skin tones

Apple users will soon get to use racially-diverse emoji, after the company's latest OS X and iOS update for developers introduced emoji of people in different skin colours.

On devices with the latest updates, which are not yet available to the general public, users are given a choice of skin tone and hair colour when they click and hold down on emoji that depict individual people or body parts, like the thumbs-up emoji, The Next Web reported.

There are also new emoji showing families of different races.

Also new are an increased number of country flags, including the flags of Singapore and Malaysia, phone emoji depicting Apple's latest iPhones and an Apple Watch.

These changes come after computing industry consortium Unicode released draft guidelines in November last year offering a broader range of options.

Not everyone is pleased with the update though. Some have criticised the yellow emoji, calling them too bright and jaundiced.

One analyst said the "yellow skin" is meant to be "default emoji yellow" and is not representative of any skin tone.

There is no official release date for the updates, but The Guardian reports that it will be in the coming months.

Join ST's WhatsApp Channel and get the latest news and must-reads.