If you’ve ever used an emoji but wished they were facing the other way, there’s some good news coming in your direction. The Unicode Consortium has published new guidelines that will allow companies like Apple and Google to implement reversible emoji.
As the name suggests, reversible emoji are emoticons which can be flipped left or right. So a car or a person could be made to face either direction instead of staying fixed in one pose. Apple and other companies would be able to pick and choose which emoji will be customizable.
Emojipedia put together the above photo to illustrate what this could look like, featuring a woman running towards a train and the same woman running away from it. The possibilities are endless, but it should be kept in mind that the guidelines are still at the draft stage and will only go official in early 2018.
Following that, vendors like Google, Microsoft, and Apple will be able to implement reversible emoji and new candidates in the second half of 2018. This could mean that iOS 12 will arrive in September for iPhones and iPads with a batch of fresh emoji which can also be flipped around. Android 9.0 P typically gets launched in October, so Google-backed devices would have to wait a bit longer.
Perhaps we’ll see the latest emoji in beta versions of iOS and Android before that. This includes a swan, a pirate flag, a party face, faces with no/afro hair, superheroes, a bagel, and a firecracker. There are a couple that didn’t make the final cut such as frowning pile of poo, grinning face with OK as eyes, and frowning face with question marks as eyes.