Today, the Unicode Consortium announced in a blog post that, due to the coronavirus pandemic, it would be postponing the release of Unicode 14.0 for six months. This will push the release of the next version of the Unicode Standard from March to September 2021.
Mark Davis, President of the Consortium, says that since the organization relies heavily on volunteers and that its members are dealing with a variety of situations during the pandemic, it was decided to push the release of the next standard.
“Under the current circumstances we’ve heard that our contributors have a lot on their plates at the moment and decided it was in the best interests of our volunteers and the organizations that depend on the standard to push out our release date … This year we simply can’t commit to the same schedule we’ve adhered to in the past.”
The postponement will thankfully not affect the release of new emojis included in the Unicode 13.0 standard announced on March 10th. According to the post, these emojis were finalized in January so we should expect to see them available in phones this fall.
“Because of the lead time for developers to incorporate emoji into mobile phones, emoji that are finalized in January don’t appear on phones until the following September or so.”
They are also pushing the deadline for submissions on new emoji character proposals for Emoji 14.0 until September 2020. You can read the full press release on the Unicode Consortium website.