Ahead of World Emoji Day tomorrow, Google is sharing new designs for 992 emoji that it has modernized with a focus on “making them more universal, accessible and authentic.” The company also provided a timeline for when they will roll out to the various platforms.
In addition to making them sweeter, Google has worked to make emoji more accurate and flexible, given their worldwide audience and need to be “globally relevant.” An interesting example is that Google / Android’s cake emoji is no longer a specific piece, but rather a more general whole.
Pie emoji is a curious one ̵1; it used to look like a very specific American pumpkin pie (a family favorite!). Now it’s something everyone recognizes. I could crack a joke about how there is more food to go around, but it’s not really a joke: This minor change means that this emoji can represent a whole range of pies – apple pie, blueberry pie, strawberry pie, cherry pie, chicken pot pie, beef and mushrooms … the list goes on.
Another change is that emoji for transport (car, truck, taxi) make better use of free space, while Google humorously says that “the new design for the highway 🛣️ will pass its next driving test.” Food characters get an upgrade of accuracy / authenticity, while there are wonderful adaptations to others if the dark theme is activated. Stars will appear when you camp at night.
In terms of availability, Google’s redesign of emoji is starting to appear in products this month. First is Gmail and Google Chat, while coming to Chromebooks with an enhanced emoji picker in Chrome OS 92 in late July.
The new emoji is coming to phones with Android 12’s public launch this fall. Another big change for Android is how apps that support Appcompat will be able to get new Google emoji when they become available instead of having to rely on OS releases or even app updates. This updated library will also be available to developers this fall.
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Finally, Google is bringing the new emoji to YouTube and live chat “later this year.” Until then, you can read all the new characters below:
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