Apple updated its mask-wearing emoji to change its facial expression

Related video above: You can download an elbow bump emojiNothing is immune to the impacts of COVID-19. Not even your emoji keyboard.Apple recently released a first look at the emojis in the next version of Apple iOS, which is always oddly exciting to tech nerds.As part of the update, the now-infamous mask-clad emoji has a subtle change in facial expression. To put it simply, the face is obviously smiling behind that sterile white medical mask.The “Face with Medical Mask” emoji, which was present in the emoji library before the COVID-19 pandemic, previously had a less-than-enthused expression, as it was created to symbolize sickness. But this year, face masks became a daily necessity for all, sick or not—and the public’s emoji use reflected that. In fact, the popularity of the “Face with Medical Mask” emoji increased dramatically at starting in late February 2020. According to Emojipedia, the use of the medical mask emoji increased six-fold from January 2020 to March 2020. Apple apparently took notice, and decided to make a change.Now, instead of the emoji featuring downturned “sad” eyes, the “Face with Medical Mask” emoji has raised eyebrows and blushed cheeks, looking like the “Smiling Face” emoji — just wearing a mask. A gif composite by Emojipedia shows a direct comparison of the two emojis, which proves that the new version of the mask-wearing face is in fact the “Smiling Face” emoji with a mask pasted on top.As with any emoji update from Apple, the smiling mask-wearing emoji will only appear if users download the latest version of the company’s operating system.Apple’s latest iOS is in beta for now, but the company plans to publicly launch iOS 14.2 sometime this month. Emojipedia also notes emoji designs from beta are “subject to change” before a general public release. After all, following U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and protecting your community is something to smile about.

Related video above: You can download an elbow bump emoji

Nothing is immune to the impacts of COVID-19. Not even your emoji keyboard.

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Apple recently released a first look at the emojis in the next version of Apple iOS, which is always oddly exciting to tech nerds.

As part of the update, the now-infamous mask-clad emoji has a subtle change in facial expression. To put it simply, the face is obviously smiling behind that sterile white medical mask.

The “Face with Medical Mask” emoji, which was present in the emoji library before the COVID-19 pandemic, previously had a less-than-enthused expression, as it was created to symbolize sickness. But this year, face masks became a daily necessity for all, sick or not—and the public’s emoji use reflected that.

In fact, the popularity of the “Face with Medical Mask” emoji increased dramatically at starting in late February 2020. According to Emojipedia, the use of the medical mask emoji increased six-fold from January 2020 to March 2020. Apple apparently took notice, and decided to make a change.

mask emoji

Emojipedia

Now, instead of the emoji featuring downturned “sad” eyes, the “Face with Medical Mask” emoji has raised eyebrows and blushed cheeks, looking like the “Smiling Face” emoji — just wearing a mask. A gif composite by Emojipedia shows a direct comparison of the two emojis, which proves that the new version of the mask-wearing face is in fact the “Smiling Face” emoji with a mask pasted on top.

As with any emoji update from Apple, the smiling mask-wearing emoji will only appear if users download the latest version of the company’s operating system.

Apple’s latest iOS is in beta for now, but the company plans to publicly launch iOS 14.2 sometime this month. Emojipedia also notes emoji designs from beta are “subject to change” before a general public release.

After all, following U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and protecting your community is something to smile about.