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How to access the new diverse emoji in iOS 8.3

Put the days of being represented by a yellow-skinned emoji behind you. Apple just integrated emoji for all skin types in the latest version of iOS 8.

An example of the various colors now present in iOS 8's emoji. Jason Cipriani/CNET

Apple on Wednesday released iOS 8.3, bringing with it a slew of bug fixes and performance improvements.

In addition to cleaning up shop, Apple also released a redesigned emoji keyboard complete with a more racially diverse set of characters. In other words, instead of only finding one color of emoji faces and hands within the keyboard, you now have a more realistic sample of colors to represent the various races in the world.

Accessing the new emoji is a simple process, so long as you know where to look.

  • First you'll need to update to iOS 8.3. You can do this by going into Settings, General, and tapping on Software Update. Follow the prompts and let your device update.

  • Next, make sure you have the emoji keyboard enabled. Launch Settings, General, Keyboard, Keyboards and finally Add New Keyboard if emoji isn't listed.

  • When composing a message and you want to insert an emoji, tap on the globe icon on your keyoboard to cycle through active keyboards. Eventually you'll come upon the new, easier to navigate emoji layout. Long-pressing on an emoji will bring up alternative options. For those emoji with alternative colors available, a dialogue will display for you to pick from. The basic smiley faces don't have color options, but nearly everything representative of a person will.

Going forward the last color you picked will be the default color for that respective emoji.

The same diversified emoji are also available for OS X users running 10.10.3 or later. Accessible by pressing Command-Control-Space Bar at the same time, with a long-press resulting in the same behavior.