On November 21, 2008, Apple introduced an emoji keyboard and emoji characters for the first time on November 21, 2008, for iPhone in Japan. At that time, Apple rolled out iPhone OS 2.2. Today Apple’s emoji has the 10th anniversary.
There were only 176 pictograms in the first set of emoji and had a resolution of 12 x 12 pixels. Each emoji was aimed to differentiate messaging features of i-mode from other such services. This emoji support came in the form of a software update known as iPhone OS 2.2 that was released globally, but the emoji keyboard was only available in the Japanese market.
Apple’s Emoji Turns Ten Today
When the feature went live, third-party apps soon began including Easter Eggs that unlocked the emoji keyboard for users across the globe. This was not supported by Apple.
In October 2010, Emoji was added to the Unicode Standard, that was a key step in ensuring that emoji characters could be cross-platform compatible around the globe. Apple rolled out 376 new emojis with iOS 6 in 2012 and switched to Unicode-compatible code points for the emojis. In 2015, one of the latest updates on the emoji timeline came with iOS 8.3.
Many changes have been made to Apple’s emoji set in these ten years. The total number of emojis has increased from 471 in 2008 to 2,776 in 2018.