Binary Diary

Half Mag / Half Zine

After what feels like ages of rumors, speculation, and worry that I was getting way too obsessed with a Bluetooth item tracker that seemed similar to ones made by several other companies, AirTags are finally here. But before you preorder the Mentos-esque pucks, there’s something you should be aware of: if you want to engrave your AirTags, you can’t combine a horse and poop emoji in that order.

That’s right, the emoji version of “horseshit” is a no-go when getting an engraving for Apple’s newest product. Here’s what happens when you try to make that your engraving of choice:

Curiously, poop and then horse (“shit horse”) is totally fine, though.

Fictional horse excrement is fair game too. Despite being a horn away from being exactly the same emoji, “unicorn shit” works fine.

As do emoji representations I tried for “snake shit,” “monkey shit,” “chicken shit,” and even “shit bird.”

Similar limitations apply to actual offensive words as well. Apple gives you just enough letters for some creative diction, but catches some of the obvious offenders. “SUCK,” “NSFW,” and “BUTT” are still on the table though.

This is all very silly on some level, but consistent with the conservative California Dad lens through which Apple seems to make most of its product decisions. The same emoji restrictions are present on AirPods and iPad engravings, for example. Though on those devices, “horseshit” does seem to work — so if you really want to brand your AirPods case that way, go for it.

We’ve reached out to Apple to see if these limitations are deliberate or a bug.