Apple adds two Buddhist emojis

Apple’s iOS9.1 came out last week, and with it came 184 new emojis — including two Buddhist icons.

Sam Littlefair
27 October 2015

Apple’s iOS9.1 came out last week, and with it came 184 new emojis. (Emoji, for those who don’t know, are standardized illustrations that can be typed on modern phones and computers — you might have noticed a humorous one in the illustration for Anne Cushman’s piece on Lion’s Roar, “The Tao of Poo.”) Apple’s emoji set has always included a few religious icons: “smiling face with halo” ?; “person with folded hands” ?; “christmas tree”?; “six pointed star with middle dot” ?; plus, if Wall Street is your religion, “money with wings” ?.

Now, Buddhists get two icons. Unfortunately, this author doesn’t have iOS9, so he can’t type them for you, but he is told they are a mala and a wheel of dharma. Here are images of the two:


Mashable reports that a Buddha emoji was nixed, because Unicode selection criteria discourages deity-moji according to Emojipedia — which, I presume, is the definitive authority on emoji. Do you have iOS9.1? Tweet us your favorite emoji @lionsroar.

Sam Littlefair

Sam Littlefair

Sam Littlefair is the former editor of He has also written for The Coast, Mindful, and Atlantic Books Today. Find him on Twitter, @samlfair, and Facebook, @samlfair.