It’s curious to see social trends evolve, and none has taken off quite as much as Emoji have in the past couple of years. They’ve been around for years and years in Japan, which is where the name comes from, and they’ve been available on the iPhone for some time as well, but it wasn’t until instant messaging services like Facebook Messenger, Hangouts and WhatsApp started to take off that everyone started to use them. No longer the domain for just the cool kids, Emoji are being used all over the world by all ages, and there are more of them on their way, including some interesting additions up for review.
As Emoji are just like text, they’re managed by the same Unicode standards that ensure a text message from my Android phone can be read on my “friend’s” iPhone, Unicode standards make sure that Emoji are treated the same by all phone manufacturers. They might look 100% identical, but the meaning and actions are always in the same. For the new version of Unicode, version 9.0, set to launch this Summer, there are 74 new emoji under consideration. In these 74 new Emoji are more animals, such as Gorillas and Bats as well as more food like Bacon, Eggs and Croissants (we suppose this covers Breakfast for much of the Western world?) Other proposed inclusions are the classic facepalm, some more hand gestures and some sporting Emoji such as 1st, 2nd and 3rd places and more equipment.
These new Emoji aren’t going to win awards for breaking down barriers across the globe, but it is fun to see these funny little symbols expand in what they enable us to communicate. The question is when we’re going to see these land on Android? Well, aftermarket keyboards like SwiftKey have been keen to add new Emoji, but the operating system itself needs to understand the Emoji in order to render them, which means an upgrade to the Unicode definitions. This isn’t likely to hit until the next major version of Android until this Fall, but a smaller update to Marshmallow, Android 6.0, isn’t entirely out of the question.