Apple is doing its (tiny) share of making mask-wearing a little less dreary.
In the next version of its mobile operating system, iOS 14.2, the mask-wearing emoji now appears to be smiling.
Originally, the Face with Medical Mask emoji had a neutral (if not a little sad) face expression. But Emojipedia has done a direct comparison of the new emoji with the regular, Smiling Face emoji, and they’re the same thing, the only difference being the mask. And while the smile isn’t directly visible on the new emoji (because of, you know, the mask), it is quite obvious that it has a cheerful face.
Emojipedia points out that this change will not be universal; the mask-wearing emoji will appear more cheerful on iOS 14.2, but it will look different on earlier versions on iOS or other platforms (it looks particularly sad on Android).
It’s also worth noting that Samsung made a similar change to the way the mask-wearing emoji looks on its phones back in March.
I believe this tiny change is a positive move by Apple. No matter how we feel about wearing a medical mask, it’s probably good that at least our emojis aren’t complaining about it.