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Emoji Coming to Android Soon

Oct 24, 2015
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By now you probably have heard about Apple getting new emoji, as it has set the world ablaze, becoming a trending topic on Twitter within minutes of the new emoji being released. Well while it seems that iOS 9.1 did get to the new emoji first, fear not Android users, as new emoji are also slated to come to Android devices very soon.

The newly appointed senior VP of Android, Hiroshi Lockheimer, took to Twitter to confirm that Google is indeed working on new emoji for the Android users out there who were worried that they would be missing out on all the emoji fun. You might have noticed that when it comes to emoji, Android has been pretty bare in terms of the types of emoji out there, but it seems that Google has heard your feedback and is now promising that you too will also be getting new emoji.

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Good news though if you are an Android user right now, as you can still access a few of the new emoji that were released for Apple on iOS 9.1. You might be wondering just how on Earth you could manage to get some of these new emoji on your Android device? It’s actually pretty simple, as WhatsApp for Android has already had some of the “new” iOS emoji for quite a while now. If you use WhatsApp, which is a popular social media chat type of app, then you can get in on some of the new Apple emoji fun. A couple of the brand new emoji did just pop up on WhatsApp, and it’s likely that you will be able to get all of the new iOS emoji on WhatsApp in the near future too. If you login to WhatsApp right now you will see that the slightly frown face, Vulcan salute, and the middle finger are all emoji that you can use if you are in WhatsApp. While the taco emoji, which has become very popular since it was released on iOS 9.1, has not made it to WhatsApp quite yet.

Of course, if you do not have WhatsApp, then you can now get some of these new emoji that showed up on Apple iOS 9.1, although we do know that new emoji will be coming to Android within months. The only question is when are the new emoji going to be coming to Android devices? Well, since Apple released the new emoji this week, that means Google is likely stepping up production on the new emoji, and it’s likely that you will get the taco emoji as well.

There is a lot of work that goes into making emoji, including Unicode updates, which is now on version 8.0, and Android users are still stuck on Unicode 7.0 at this point. iOS actually has all of the emoji ever made, dating all the back back to 1993, when Unicode 1.1 was released, and that is quite a feat for Apple. It was thought that with Android version 6.0 hitting the marketplace, which is called Marshmallow, that Android would see the new emoji, but as usual, Android is a little behind Apple on the emoji situation.

Android is now 2 Unicode updates behind, since Unicode 9.0 is set to be released in the middle of 2016. The Unicode 9.0 update is supposed to include face palm, and paella, well that is at least the rumor at this point. One of the biggest issues when it comes to Android and the Unicode updates, as well as a lot of other updates, is that it can take quite some time for all Android devices to get the newest emoji, especially if you are waiting for an over-the-air update. The Nexus hardware often gets these types of updates first, but when it comes to the non-Nexus hardware, there is often a long wait for the updates, and sometimes this can be up to 6 months or a year after the release on Nexus devices. The wait is actually longer if you have a carrier branded Android device, and this is part of the fragmentation that happens on Android.

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If you are wondering just when the new emoji will hit Android, it will likely happen within the next few months, given that Unicode 9.0 will be coming out in less than a year. The tweet from the senior VP of Android seems to indicate that the emoji update is coming sooner than later, although we still do not have a specific date at this point, but it looks like Google is quite aware of users wanting access to all of these new emoji and it also seems like Google is at least prepping to get these emoji out there for Android users before the year is over.