iOS 8.3 will change some of your favorite Emojis

With iOS 8.3 coming up fast, we might have to say bye to some familiar characters we’ve come to know and love. With some previously-announced changes, such as the inclusion of more racially diverse emojis and same-sex families, some familiar emojis will be getting a face lift. For example, the man emoji will don a new and updated, more detailed mustache… for no discernible reason, and the “dancing girls” emoji will get a dye job and a new set of headbands.

But not only that, our favorite “6 God”/”prayer hands” emoji is losing its inspirational rays.

Check out the Emojipedia here to study up on the new changes before they appear on your phone.


Apple’s plan for greater emoji diversity backfires

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RocketNews 24:

With expressions ranging from happy to sad to ironic, emoticons serve as a kind of virtual extension of the self on online messaging platforms. As a result, many rejoiced when Apple decided to import Japan’s Emoji keyboard back in 2011, eliminating the need for app extensions. Yet something was still missing. “Where’s the diversity?”asked everyone from Tahj Mowry to Miley Cyrus, addressing the notable lack of non-white cartoon faces.

It looks like Apple has been listening closely to these concerns, with plans to implement a more racially and socially diverse set of emoji for iOS 8.3 later this year. Problem solved? Not quite. As Apple unveils its most recent developer betas, a furor has broken out in China regarding what some regard as a prejudiced depiction of Asians. While one can certainly make a case for this position, Apple claims the startlingly yellow emoji at the heart of the uproar doesn’t depict a normal human face at all.

The controversy began with the series of emoji shown above. At first glance, it seems Apple’s aim with these new emoji is to provide a greater range of skin tones, thereby promoting one aspect of diversity. This then leads to the inevitable question of whether the emoji are also intended as a visualization of race.

Many Chinese citizens seem to think the emoji do, in fact, depict a variety of races, rather than a mere progression of skin tones. Therefore, they argue, the yellow face furthest to the left cannot be construed as anything but Apple’s idea of an Asian face. At this point, the problem becomes obvious. Comments on Weibo, a popular Chinese microblogging platform, included the following:

“That emoji is seriously yellow. How does a person get to be that kind of color?”

“That can’t be an Asian person… I’ve never seen anyone so yellow in my life.”

“Has anyone ever actually seen someone who shade of yellow? I’d be worried they were ill.”

However, the ultra-yellow emoji might not be showing a natural skin color at all, Asian or otherwise.

As it happens, the developer of the emoji is not Apple itself, but rather Unicode Consortium, which aims to promote a greater range of skin tones in 2015. In a document on the subject, they write:

“Five symbol modifier characters that provide for a range of skin tones for human emoji are planned for Unicode Version 8.0 (scheduled for mid-2015). These characters are based on the six tones of the Fitzpatrick scale, a recognized standard for dermatology… The exact shades may vary between implementations.”

This is followed by a graphic showing the emoji modifiers.

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You can see how the sample colors on the left side align with those of five emoji in the upcoming release. So what about the bright yellow face? The reason it is absent from this chart is because the yellow tone is, as Ritchie noted, the default color. Gradations in skin tone are achieved by adding a color modifier to the default, as seen below:

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In light of this information, Apple’s explanation suddenly becomes much more plausible. Even so, it might be too late to reverse the damage. Sales of last year’s iPhone were higher in China than they were in America, making the former a vital market for Apple–which must now surely be concerned about its image among Chinese consumers. Ultimately they will decide with their wallets whether or not to give Apple the benefit of the doubt.

Apple to introduce multicultural Emojis with iOS 8.3 beta

Apple has launched its second OS X 10.10.3 and iOS 8.3 beta updates for developers today. As part of the release, the promised multicultural emoji pack has been unveiled. The redesigned keyboard will allow a user to adjust the complexion of an emoji by tapping and holding on each character.

The new skin tones are based off the Fitzpatrick scale, a numerical classification schema for human skin color which was developed by a Harvard dermatologist in 1975. Along with racial diversity, Apple’s new emoji pack will also feature same-sex couples and couples without children. Furthermore, 300 additional new characters will be available once the new iOS is released to the public this spring, including an unsurprising replacement of a traditional watch by an Apple Watch.

Chinese man proposes marriage standing in a heart made of $95K worth of iPhone 6’s, still gets turned down

iPhone Marriage Proposal Heart

Digital Trends:

There’s nothing like a grand gesture when proposing marriage, and they don’t get much grander than blowing nearly $100,000 on a stack of iPhone 6 devices, arranging them in the shape of a heart, and standing in the middle to pop the question. Surely, such a gesture cannot fail? Sadly, a Chinese computer programmer found out it’s not a sure-fire winner this week, when he proposed to his girlfriend using exactly this tactic.

Apparently, according to local reports, the love-struck guy spent the equivalent of $95,000 on 99 iPhone 6 smartphones, and proposed to his girlfriend while standing in the middle of the carefully arranged iPhone-heart, holding a bunch of flowers. The answer was no.

There are no details on why she turned the iPhone fan down, but it could be she preferred Android, or didn’t think spending the rest of her life with a man who had just happily spent what the average Chinese worker earns in 17 years would be a good idea. Regardless, that leaves the presumably now single man with a lot of Apple iPhones. Still, at least they are in their boxes, so selling them off shouldn’t be difficult.

The proposal took place just before Singles Day in China, where singletons celebrate (or not) being unattached, while everyone else spends billions online, making November 11 the world’s largest online shopping day. Coincidence? Probably, unless an enterprising company came up with this as a ruse to gain attention.

Apple put the iPhone 6 on sale in China during October, after reportedly attracting 20 million pre-orders, along with massive queues outside stores, and rabid media attention.


Just bought an iPhone 6? Keep it safe and stylish with a Sailor Moon case

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RocketNews 24:


Last month, Japan was part of the first round of the iPhone 6 release, and we were as psyched as anyone. However, now that the excitement has died down, a sobering problem is sinking in for early adopters around the world: Their iPhone 5 cases are suddenly obsolete.

So if you’re on the lookout for a way to keep your iPhone 6 safe, why not hand the task off to a team that’s been protecting the earth for the last 23 years with a Sailor Moon case.

The titular protagonist and her team of celestial-themed magical girls have gone by a variety of names over the years, such as the Sailor Senshi and Sailor Scouts. You could also make a case for Sailor Soldiers or Sailor Guardians, whether you’re going by the proper linguistic or prettied-up official translation for the Japanese word senshi.

One term we haven’t seen before is Sailor Sisters, but that’s the name featured prominently on Premium Bandai’s webpage for the stained glass-style cases.


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While Sailor Moon herself is the star of the series, many fans claim a different member of the ensemble cast as their favorite. In addition to the mother and daughter team ofSailors Moon and Chibi Moon, you can outfit your smartphone with illustrations of Inner Senshi Sailors Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, and Venus.


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If you’re hard-core enough that you’ve followed the anime all the way up to its Sailor Moon R and S seasons, you’ll be happy to know that the Outer Senshi, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, and Saturn, are here as well.


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If you prefer capes and roses to pleats and ribbons, you can get a case bearing the likeness of Tuxedo Mask. Or, if regality is more your thing, the last of the 12 cases features Queen Serenity, the second alter ego of series’ lead Usagi Tsukino.


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Each case is priced at 2,160 yen (US$20) and can be ordered here. And if you haven’t yet upgraded to the latest model of Apple’s smartphone (possibly because you’d rather spend your cash on anime and manga than personal electronics), Bandai is also offering iPhone 5 and 5s versions here.

The iPhone 5 cases are scheduled to ship in December, and those for the iPhone 6 a month later.

The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are cutting Into Samsung’s profits

Image of The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are Cutting Into Samsung's Profits

Tech giant Samsung announces that it expects to receive weaker than projected profit margins for the third quarter. Reporting an operating profit of just under $4 billion USD for the current quarter, which is a significant drop off from the $7 billion USD earned last quarter, Samsung blames a decline in average selling price of its mobile phones as a key reason to the drop in earnings.

This speculation comes at a time when the company faces stiff competition from other tech firms — such as Chinese startup Xiaomi — that offer Android capabilities through much cheaper alternative mobile devices. Key competitor Apple has also just released the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, contributing to increased competition amongst Samsung’s larger-screened high-end phones.

Luckily for Samsung, its lead in memory chips is expected to aid the blow from poor mobile phone sales. With Christmas and the gifting season fast approaching, stay tuned to see if profits fickle as the year comes to an end.





Japanese label UNDERCOVER has presented its latest efforts in the form of MADSTAMP, an app that allows users to enjoy some playful modifications to images. A range of photo collage emoticons are featured, of which can then be implemented into any photo you desire.

Compatible with iOS 6.0 or later, MADSTAMP can now be downloaded for free at Apple’s App Store






Emojli, an Emoji-only social network by Matt Gray and Tom Scott

Emojli is an emoji-only social network by London-based tinkerers Matt Gray and Tom Scott. Interested users can reserve their usernames — which must be emoji — for when the social network launches. Emojli is scheduled to come to iOS first and others platforms later.


Use your passport to get free Wi-Fi across Japan


Mashable/Adario Strange:


Although Japan is renowned for having some of the best customer service on the planet, for various reasons, including language and cultural hurdles, it isn’t known as the most tourist-friendly destination.

Some of those hurdles also extend into the tech arena, namely, Wi-Fi. Although sidling up to a café in Europe or North America and grabbing a bit of free Wi-Fi for your mobile device is common, finding such wireless access in tech-centric Japan’s major cities remains notoriously difficult. But that’s about to change.

A new program launched by NTT (Japan’s largest telecom), is designed to serve foreign tourists on the hunt for Wi-Fi. For those who haven’t traveled to Japan, the program might seem behind the times, but for anyone familiar with attempting to find Wi-Fi in Japan, this is huge news.

Now, when a traveler arrives at a Japanese airport, they can present their passport and register for a Wi-Fi card that offers free Wi-Fi coverage via 45,000 hot spots in the eastern Japan area including Tokyo, Hakone, Mt. Fuji, Yokohama, Nagano, Nikko, Kusatsu, Tohoku, Hokkaido and Fukushima.


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Additionally, a traveler outside of the country preparing to visit Japan can download the iOS or Android version of the NAVITIME for Japan Travel app and obtain an ID and password beforehand. The app also offers an augmented reality mode that shows you a Street View-style image of the location where an available Wi-Fi hotspot is located.

However, the access only lasts for 14 days (or 336 hours), just enough to get you used to the free access, but not long enough to be truly useful for anyone planning an extended stay in Japan.

According to the Nikkei, the program is also being directed by the Japanese government, which plans to use the initiative to get more buildings in the country to offer Wi-Fi access.

The trial program, which began earlier this year, will last until September 2014.


Check out this link:


Use your passport to get free Wi-Fi across Japan


Flappy Bird creator ‘considering’ bringing the game back

Admit it, you played Flappy Bird. And for a brief period of time, you may have even liked the incredibly addictive game. After millions of people downloaded the viral hit, however, creator Dong Nguyen decided enough was enough — it was time to pull the plug, making it unavailable in the iOS and Android app markets.

But never say never again: Nguyen revealed in an interview with Rolling Stone that there is still at least a sliver of a chance that the extremely simple game will return in a blaze of avian glory. “I’m considering it,” said Nguyen when asked if it would ever be offered again, so take that with a grain of salt; we’ll believe it when we see it. In the meantime, we bet Android users can still download an APK somewhere, and iPhone fans can always check eBay to see if somebody’s selling their phone with the game on it.

As for why Nguyen pulled the app, he mentioned that the game’s massive success was crushing and weighing him down, and it threatened his simple life: “I’m a master of my own fate,” he said, “[an] independent thinker.”

Check out this link:

Flappy Bird creator ‘considering’ bringing the game back