This week iPhone and iPad owners were, once again, greeted with a whole new set of emoji arriving in iOS 9.1. This marks yet another Unicode update (8.0) iOS users get to enjoy, while Android users are still stuck waiting on the diversity themed Unicode 7.0 update which gave the user the ability to select skin color on select emoji. In fact, iOS now officially has every single emoji ever created, dating all the way back to Unicode 1.1 from 1993 — not a single one has been left out (despite a a movement to remove the gun emoji). Must be nice.
Android users? Well, despite seeing a brand new firmware arrive (Android 6.0 Marshmallow), we were surprised to find no work had been done on supporting the new Unicode 7.0 or now, the 8.0 emoji. That meant whenever someone posted the new emoji on social networks or in messaging apps (with the exception of WhatsApp which is always kept up to date), Android users were met with a blank box or nothing at all. But it might not be that way for long.
For those losing sleep wondering “When will Android get the new taco/hotdog/floating businessman emoji?” it seems it could be soon. Newly appointed Android SVP Hiroshi Lockheimer apologized on Twitter yesterday but wants everyone to know Google’s working on it. Of course, no specific dates or which specific Android version that will introduce the new emoji was mentioned, but hopefully they’re making this a priority given we’re now officially 2 Unicode updates behind.
With Unicode 9.0 slated to arrive in mid-2016 — which could include paella, face palm, and even a little cowboy hat wearing emoji — we can only hope Google appoints some sort of new emoji department within Android to take care of these things. Even then, you have to remember that it can take a long while before Android firmware updates trickle down to non-Nexus hardware, and even longer if you have a carrier branded device.
For a video showcasing every new emoji arriving in Unicode 8.0 (and iOS 9.1 users), check out Emojipedia’s video down below. Which is your favorite?