A great number of sweeping changes are set to be in the final release of Android N, with many of those available to sample right now in the developer previews. Changes to the user interface, new shortcuts and other major updates are on show, as well as a number of subtler changes. Among the somewhat lesser changes, users of the Android N preview will find some new emoji, as well as changes to old ones, as Google works on bringing their emoji collection into compliance with Unicode 9 and adding in the plethora of new emoji and emoji-related options that the updated standard brings with it.
The biggest change to emoji in Android N’s Unicode 9 overhaul is a change to more humanlike faces, rather than the previous gender-neutral and highly expressive blobs. Although some old and new emoji, such as the vomit face and the heart-eyes face, will be keeping the blob standard for now, a good amount of emoji have been converted over to the human faces, complete with hair and ears. The humanlike emoji are, for the most part, equipped with modifiers to change things like their age, gender and skin color. Most, if not all, of the blob emoji that are sticking around have been changed to face directly toward the viewer as if speaking with them, rather than facing slightly off to the side. This perspective will likely be the way of things going forward for all new emoji, blob or not.
On top of changes to living emoji, a plethora of new inanimate objects and representations of activities are represented. In the images below alone, you can spot a wide variety of things like a relaxing drink, traditional Spanish cooking, the immortal “hang ten” symbol and even a good old fashioned rifle. Interestingly, some of the new emoji created for Android N are candidates to wind up immortalized in Unicode 9’s final edition. As a final footnote, all hope is not gone for those who actually enjoyed the cute little blob characters. A Unicode 9 entry specifying gender-neutrality may make room for them to resurface in later Android and Unicode versions. Most of what you see below is featured in the latest Android N preview, but you can always check out the source link if you’d like more details.