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Here are the most important new features uncovered in the latest iOS 8.3 beta

Published Feb 23rd, 2015 5:05PM EST
iOS 8.3 Beta 2 New Features
Image: BGR

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Apple early on Monday rolled out iOS 8.3 beta to developers, an update which, along with a handful of bug fixes, prominently features the ability for users to select from a more diverse set of emojis.

FROM EARLIER: Apple shares close at record high, company now worth three-quarters of a trillion dollars

Specifically, the iOS emoji lineup now includes same-sex families. What’s more, the iOS 8.3 beta now gives users the ability to modify the skin tone of what were traditionally white emoji characters. With the update, users are now given six options for skin tone color to choose from.

Notably, this isn’t the first time Apple has taken steps to broaden the diversity of iOS emojis. Recall that Apple, back with iOS 6, introduced emojis featuring same-sex couples for the first time.

MacRumors adds that a recently released beta of OS X 10.10.3 also features more diverse emoji options.

There are also several new people emoji that introduce greater diversity. Family emoji now include multiple same sex couples, both with children and without, all with variable skin tone options. Apple first promised to add more diversity to its emoji character set in early 2014, stating at that time that it was working with the Unicode Consortium to add more characters, and it appears the company will be making good on that pledge

In addition to a more diverse lineup of emojis, 9to5Mac is reporting that Siri in the iOS 8.3 beta now supports a number of new languages, including Russian, Danish, Dutch, Portuguese, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, and English for India.

It’s worth noting that while the iOS 8.3 beta was released today, Apple still hasn’t released a public version of iOS 8.2. As for when that might happen, BGR reported not too long ago that Apple is aiming for a March launch of iOS 8.2, an update which will reportedly include support for Apple Watch pairing.

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.