It wouldn’t be World Emoji Day without Google’s update for its next Android emoji, and there will be plenty of special character updates for Android 12. It’s Google reviewed updates to the “hundreds” of characters for the new OS that will make them both more accessible in applications and on platforms. In many cases, they are simply more thoughtful – they do not make as many assumptions about you or the context of using a given emoji.
For starters there is a “more universal” pie instead of pumpkin from before (where this was needed Android 9?). Emoji in bikinis don’t look like they’re wearing them. Food emojis like croissants and shrimp look like they are cooked properly. Camping emojis cleverly reflect day and night, depending on your OS theme. And emojis with a mask no longer look like a sick person – it is a recognition from the pandemic era that wearing a mask shows kindness and respect.
You’ll also see emojis that are more functional and easier to read, like the more realistic character of the highway and larger vehicles.
It will also be easier for you to use the new emojis. From Android 12 onwards, apps that support Google’s Appcompat will always support the latest emoji thumbnails without the need for separate updates. Better emoji functionality is also coming to many Google platforms, including consistent support in Gmail this July, a new emoji selector in Chrome OS the same month, and improved YouTube chat functionality later in 2021. All in all, you won’t have to worry so much about missing emoji thumbnails or other challenges in expression.
All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, regardless of our parent company. Some of our stories include associated links. If you purchase something through one of these links, we may earn an associated commission.