As Sarah Palin once asked President Barack Obama’s supporters: “How's that hopey, changey thing working out for ya?”

The answer to that question from Apple about their new operating systems’ diverse emoji could be, “Change is never easy.”

If the person on the other end of a text doesn’t have the newly released iOS 8.3 or OS X 10.10.3, the latest line of emoji, the darker-skin and gay ones, could land as aliens.

Reports Mashable : It turns out that on other devices — even devices running earlier Apple software — you might see the standard emoji character paired with an alien instead of the new diverse emoji. Or you might just see a white square. So what's going on? It has to do with how older operating systems handle fallbacks for the new characters.

Still, the emoji depicting families with two dads or two moms, and others that allow a smiley or a thumbs up to have a skin tone other than light beige (white folk) or old school sunshine yellow, reflect a light years advance in cultural sensitivity.

The emoji are governed by the Unicode Consortium and as other tech companies update their operating systems, the new emoji will become standard.

Until then, Mashable’s Christina Warren writes, “Using the new diverse emoji on your latest and greatest Apple device could mean that your friends end up seeing a lot of white boxes — with or without aliens — for some time.”

Among other changes in Apple’s latest OS upgrades is a new language pack for Siri that let the digital assistant speak in Danish, Dutch, Portuguese, Russian, Swedish, Thai, and Turkish.


Follow Metro Editor-at-large John A. Oswald on Twitter - @nyc_oz.