If there are two things that go together it’s millennials and a good cup of coffee, so naturally smartphones and coffee go together just as nicely, so surely an Emoji Keyboard from Starbucks is a great idea, right? Well, regardless of your outlook on that, Starbucks went ahead and made an emoji keyboard anyway, giving users and coffee lovers the world over an easy way of asking someone if they want a coffee at the nearest ‘bucks. The app is available in the Play Store for us Android users, and the iTunes App Store for those on iOS, but it’s not quite the sort of emoji keyboard that you might have in mind.
See, the problem with emoji is that not all devices have the same emoji. There’s a Unicode standard out there for emoji, which ensures that a smiley face is a smiley face between a Galaxy S7 and an iPhone SE, for argument’s sake. They might look different at each end of the emoji transaction, but they’ll still be smiley faces, thanks to the Unicode standard, but a white coffee cup with a green emblem in the center of it? No, there’s no standard for that symbol, and Starbucks’ way around this is to simply send these “emoji” as individual images. This is not only confusing, but not really the way that emoji were designed to be used. An emoji was designed to be thrown in in the middle of a sentence, rather than sent separately, independent of said sentence. This approach from Starbucks presents some issues, as it makes it difficult to put a certain emoji in context, but it is at least, fun to give a try.
As for the keyboard side of things, this appears to be a port from iOS more than anything as the assets don’t quite line up and it’s not particularly high-resolution, either. At the end of the day, this is the sort of thing that might be more of a marketing gimmick than anything else, but one that a lot of users might find puts a smile on their face. As this has just launched, it’s likely that there’s going to be some updates in the future, and we’ll be hoping for some improvements. For now though, the big button below will get the new keyboard on your smartphone.