Google announced that it is tweaking 992 of its emoji designs to make them more “universal, accessible, and authentic.” In this fall the new design will arrive along with Andriod 12. The company also said they’ll also be available on older versions with apps that use its Appcompat compatibility layer. They are also coming to other devices like YouTube Live Chat, Google Chat, Chrome OS, and Gmail this month.
None of the changes is particularly drastic. They are mostly the kind of tweaks that makes the meaning of the emojis easy to understand by a wide range of users. For example, the pie emoji currently looks like a classic American pumpkin pie. That is ok for Americans but in the UK the design looked closer to a tart than a traditional pie. The new more universal design should fix this.
The company given its designs a bolder, more exaggerated look and this helps because it appears very small on the screen. The croissant and bacon emoji will be shinier this time and the scissors will have a more exaggerated sharp edge. Vehicles like cars and taxis proportions are adjusted to make them more eye-catching. The bikini emoji no longer looks like it’s being worn by an invisible person, and the face mask emoji now shows a face with its eyes open. According to the company it made this change to show that masks have become “a universal way of showing kindness to others” rather than a symbol of someone being sick.
To redesign the emojis like this is not usual for companies, either reflect changing cultural assumptions about how they’re used or correcting inaccuracies. Last a similar tweak to its mask emoji was made by Apple and showed a smiling face underneath the mask and it has also changed its syringe emoji to make it more appropriate as a symbol for vaccines.
If people are thinking about why there is so much emoji news in recent days and it is because world emoji day falls on July 17. Facebook announced new emojis with sound for its messenger service and even Microsoft also released a new set of 3D emojis.