Google’s blob emoji have been loved and hated by many since their inception, but it was announced last year that they would be gone as of Android O, so Google decided that World Emoji Day was a good opportunity to show the blobs a final bit of love in the form of a breakup letter full of blob puns and pop culture references. Credited to a “Justin Blobber,” the letter quotes lyrics from Gotye, Taylor Swift, Simple Minds, and even a Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes classic, but with blob puns sprinkled liberally throughout. Android O is currently in Developer Preview status and will be releasing fairly soon, so it’s only appropriate at this point for Google to let the little Blobby down as easily as possible.
The tear-jerking “Dear Blob” letter is preceded by an announcement about the redesign of Google’s emoji for Android O. The new emoji are designed to be a bit more consistent, as well as easier to use and understand. The blob emoji were fun and avoided the usual problem of emoji ending up being exclusive of marginalized groups like races and genders by simply sidestepping the issue entirely. Despite that, the blobs fell victim to style dissonance and inconsistency over time, which eventually made it a bit difficult for users to find just the emoji they were looking for, and inspired Google to go through with the redesign present in Android O.
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All is not lost for fans of the blob. Though the cute little shapeless bits of emotion will soon be completely gone, their original purpose, being to avoid exclusion, lives on within a feature in Google Allo that allows you to hand over your selfie to a neural network and get a set of stickers that look like you in return. This means that even if your particular race and gender don’t have a representative for a given human emoji, you can use Allo to get a set of basic emoji handcrafted to fit you. The base assets the emoji are made from are all hand-drawn by artists, and the neural network searches those for matches to a user’s unique features. Naturally, a user can customize those features before finalizing the creation of a sticker pack.