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Android chief pledges new emoji are on the way

Derek Walter | Oct. 26, 2015
The masses demand their taco, skin tone variety, and the other new icons left out of the Android party.

android emoji
Credit: Derek Walter

Android’s boss has heard you loud and clear: new emoji are on the way.

Hiroshi Lockheimer, the senior vice president for Android, Chrome OS, and Chromecast, took to Twitter to pledge that Google will catch up with all those missing icons your iPhone friends get to use.

While the little, yellow creatures and symbols may sound trivial, Android has actually been a little slow to take up the latest standard. That means Android users have been missing out on some new visual ways to express themselves. Multiple skin tones, faces, and the critical taco emoji are part of the Unicode 8.0 release, which isn’t implemented in Android yet.

Every software maker is free to make their own emoji graphics, as long as they stick to the standard set. Android chooses to represent faces in emoji using little blob people that could be a close cousin to the Oompa Loompa, instead of the typical round faces you see in most other operating systems and apps. They may not be your cup of tea, but there’s a good chance that’s what you’re stuck with.

The story behind the story: While Android usually adopts common standards, it's been a little slow to pick up on the new emoji in Unicode 8.0. We’d love to see Google jump on board with the latest, so we can all give Taco Tuesday a proper celebration. Good news is that Lockheimer has his team working on just that, as indicated by his latest tweet.


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