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The Keyword


Polishing up emoji and making them easier to share

Image of various emoji.

We talk a lot about the most frequently used emoji — 😂, 😭,❤️... But what about 📬? Who will speak for 📓? With over 3,521 emoji, there are a lot you have to scroll past to get to 👑. While working from home, plus the delay of Unicode’s next emoji release, we had some time to reflect and answer last year’s seemingly rhetorical question: What does World Emoji Day look like without new emoji?

Well, it looks like giving some love to hundreds of emoji already on your keyboard — focusing on making them more universal, accessible and authentic — so that you can find an all-new fav emoji (I'm fond of 🎷🐛). And, you can find all of these emoji (yes, including the king, 🐢) across more of Google’s platforms including Android, Gmail, Chat, Chrome OS and YouTube.

Emoji for everyone

Emoji have a global audience and it’s important for them to be globally relevant. 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.

Animation of pie emoji changing from a slice of a whole pie

Have you ever wondered why an emoji looks the way it does? Like, the bikini emoji 👙 — does it really need an invisible ghost wearing it? Now, any body is a bikini body.

Animation of bikini emoji changing to new design

Other emoji changes are long overdue. This year has been eye-opening, and now, so is the face mask emoji 😷. This emoji originated in Japan, where people regularly wear masks even before the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, masking is a universal way of showing kindness to others.

Animation of mask emoji opening it's eyes and blinking

Emoji you can’t miss

When designing emoji, you often have to exaggerate sizes. Our transportation emoji are now easier to see since the new designs allow them to take advantage of the small space they occupy.

Animation of emoji cars changing to their new design

Emoji that get the job done

However, sometimes deviating too far from reality means an emoji comes along and taunts you, haunting your dreams. Oh, that doesn’t happen to you? Just me? Well, when I close my eyes I see the scissors emoji (✂️). I know it’s just an emoji and doesn’t need to be able to actually cut things…but the new one can!

Animation of scissors emoji changing to new design and closing blades

One of the perks of the job is that I get to learn all kinds of things — like the history of accordion design 🪗, the anatomy of an octopus, how parachutes work! As someone who never learned to drive, it took designing emoji to learn that the yellow painted lines on the road tell you to stay on the right of the yellow line. But, how can you stay on the right of the yellow line if the road is flanked by yellow lines? Well, our new design for motorway 🛣️ will pass its next driving exam.

Animation of motorway changing to new design

Other emoji just needed to be cooked a bit longer 🍳 (or in some cases, dropped in the fryer).

Animation of food emoji  (croissant, rice, bacon, tampura) changing to new designs

Emoji that keep you company at night

If you look close enough, you might also notice a few additions when you switch over to dark theme in a few of the new designs.

Animation of camping emoji changing to dark them with new stars

Emoji that show up in more places than ever before

Android 12 will include all of these emoji when it rolls out this fall 🍁📲. And to make it easier for everyone to see emoji 🧚 no matter how old your phone is or when your favorite messaging app updates, starting with Android 12, all apps that support Appcompat will automagically get the latest and greatest emoji 📣. 

Can’t wait until the fall? Beginning this month, you will be able to send 📨 and receive 📩 emoji in Gmail and Chat without fear they will appear broken 💔. Have a Chromebook 💻 ? We’ve got you covered ☔ with a shiny new emoji picker coming this month. Watching your favorite creator on YouTube and chatting in the live Chat 🎮 ? Send as many 🥺 emoji as you like later this year.

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