Ever since the keynote address on stage at Google I/O 2017, we’ve been talking about the progressive Android O update. But there’s another superficial change that you may not notice in the passing. After hearing years of criticism, Google has finally decided to update its emoji guidelines and make them fall in line with the industry standards. Yeah, emojis also sort of have a standard that most tech giants adhere to.
For the past five odd years, Google has been using a blob-like design aesthetic to define its emojis across all platforms. But, it is now retiring the same in favor of the commonplace circular emoji design that is recognizable by all.
Their design was one of the primary issues with the blob emojis, which later evolved into gumdrops. They were cute and all but not recognizable on the basis of other standards we’ve become used to. This created a problem during text conversations because emoji you picked from Google keyboard could’ve appeared differently on your friend’s phone. This means it conveyed a meaning different than you actually intended.
Thus, the next major iteration of Google’s mobile operating system — Android O is replacing the gumdrops with a more traditional emoji design language. It is not like the search giant is making minor changes to their design, all emojis have been redesigned from scratch. The new circular emojis now have more color, depth, and gradient available for access. It has been described by Emojipedia as under:
In Android O, the gumdrop is gone: replaced with round smiley shape, consistent with all other operating systems.
The blob design was first introduced back in 2013 when Google launched Android Kitkat. The legacy of this different-looking emojis is coming to an end in 2017 to streamline the experience. It is also adding new emoji characters, the entire Emoji 5.0 collection. The newer additions include fresh faces, food, sports, and fantasy characters. It also includes popular emojis like the giraffe, pretzel, and dumpling.
While the new set of emojis are being rolled out on Android O (which should be named Oreo), Google hasn’t forgotten about older Android devices. It has promised an upgrade, probably to G Board, which will bring the new emojis to these devices and keep them up to date with the current standard. You’ll not have to stare at those annoying square boxes, trying to guess the emotion your dear friend would’ve expressed!