A gender-neutral face, a woman breastfeeding and a vampire are among the new emojis Apple has revealed will be available as part of its latest software update.
The 56 new symbols will be available to iPhone and iPad users as part of the OS 11.1 update, along with some updates to current emojis.
They include symbols previewed at the World Emoji Day on July 17, including a woman with a headscarf as well as a bearded man, a breastfeeding woman, a zombie and a person in a lotus position.
New animals include a hedgehog, a giraffe, a cricket and a sauropod, there is also a range of new food items such as a dumpling, broccoli and an apple pie, and the set also features new flags for England, Scotland and Wales.
The love-you gesture has been updated with a design based on the “I love you” hand sign in American Sign Language, and the new emojis also include mythical creatures like a mermaid, a fairy, a vampire and a wizard.
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The new symbols have all been approved by Unicode Consortium, the standards body for emojis, which analyses and approves submitted designs of emoji for use by all major technology companies and decides on a final design that emoji should stick to.
Emoji was characterised as the fastest growing language in the UK by 2015 and it is said to be evolving faster than many ancient types of communication.
There addition of gender-neutral emojis comes after calls for the inclusion of non-binary characters to represent those who identify as neither fully male nor female.