Ahead of World Emoji Day tomorrow, Google is sharing new designs for 992 emoji that it has revamped with a focus on “making them more universal, accessible, and authentic.” The company also provided a timeline for when they will be rolling out to its various platforms.
Besides making them cuter, Google has worked to make emoji more accurate and flexible, given their worldwide audience and need to be “globally relevant.” One interesting example is Google/Android’s pie emoji no longer being a specific slice, but rather a more general whole.
Pie emoji is a curious one — it previously looked like a very specific American pumpkin pie (a family favorite!). Now it’s something everyone recognizes. I could crack a joke about how there’s more food to go around but it’s not really a joke: This minor change means this one emoji can represent a whole host of pies — apple pie, blueberry pie, strawberry pie, cherry pie, chicken pot pie, beef and mushroom… the list goes on.
Another change sees transportation (car, truck, cab) emoji better make use of the available space, while Google humorously says the “new design for motorway 🛣️ will pass its next driving exam.” Food characters get an accuracy/authenticity upgrade, while there are delightful tweaks to others if the dark theme is enabled. Namely, stars will appear when you’re camping at night.
In terms of availability, Google’s emoji redesign will start appearing in products this month. First up is Gmail and Google Chat, while they will come to Chromebooks with an improved emoji picker in Chrome OS 92 at the end of July.
The new emoji will come to phones with Android 12’s public launch this fall. Another big change for Android is how applications that support Appcompat will be able to get new Google emoji as they become available instead of having to rely on OS releases or even app updates. This updated library will also be available for developers this fall.
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Lastly, Google is bringing the new emoji to YouTube and live Chat “later this year.” Until then, you can peruse all the new characters below:
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