New app offers emojis with diverse skin tones

A team led by alumnus Toby Meisenheimer ’96 and five Wheaton students have been working on creating an application designed to introduce diversity into the daily parts of life.
Born out of a Tru-Colour Products creation, TruEmoji.com assembled world-class developers to build a keyboard that could exist on the iPhone alongside current emojis and provide people who aren’t yellow a better-matching emoji.
Truemoji shares a common mission with Tru-Colour Bandages, deriving its vision from the band-aid provider’s movement.
According to its website, “Tru-Colour Bandages exists to bring bandage equality to the industry.” Branching out from the usual beige tones, Tru-Colour develops bandages to match a variety of skin tones.
The app will bring a wide variety of emoticons to the standard keyboard, including faces with many different skin tones, namely darker ones. As of now there are no black emoticon options.
“We wanted to make it known that diversity matters in all aspects of life,” said sophomore Matthew Adams, who serves as a student spokesperson for truemoji along with fellow sophomore Wesley Braden.
“The world has been asking for emojis that aren’t all yellow, and ‘thumbs up’ and pound-it fist-bumps that aren’t all peachy pale,” the online description reads. “So we decided to do something about it.
“If we were all created differently, why are all emojis the same?” truemoji asks on their Facebook page.
“There is a huge calling for diverse emojis,” Adams said. “We were blessed to find a way to provide those that will work just like the ones that are on the keyboard now.”
This provision could be made because of a connection with Apple through one of the developers on the team, whose friend works for Apple.
“We are working with Apple to make sure we have a very clean, streamlined app that is very user friendly,” Adams.explained. “It is important and needed so it needs to be working on a higher level.”
Adams stated that the team hopes that the impact of truemoji on Wheaton College will be recognized.
“What I want Wheaton students to see is that Wheaton College can be a growing place for Christians to make an impact on the larger community,” Adams said. He reinforced that this app can be used in widespread ways, not just among evangelical Christians.
“When it’s released, people all over the world will be using this,” Adams said.
Additionally, the app’s link to Tru-Colour distinguishes it as a product of the evangelical Christian community. Adams said that he hopes, “people will be seeing Christ in our work. I’m really excited to see where God is going to take us in the next months and years.”
Originally slotted for a Jan. 6 release, truemoji’s creators hope to launch the app within the next few weeks.
Truemoji could be released beginning in the next few days, but may take up to a few weeks. “It’s just a waiting game,” Adams said, saying that it will take place whenever Apple is ready.
“When they feel there’s a good app, they’ll release it,” he said. “We’re just putting our faith in the Lord that everything will go through smoothly.”

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