Google's emoji artwork has come a long way. Just one year ago, this is how Android displayed emoji:
Color emoji was introduced to Android in version 4.4 KitKat, which also toned down the alien into a more human-like blob character.
Now Android 5.0 Lollipop has been released with improvements and modifications to a range of emoji characters. This post outlines all major changes.
The Hairy Heart Is Dead
This is now a standard yellow heart in Android 5, along with the other colors.
😃 Smiling Face With Open Mouth now has an open smiling mouth instead of a closed smiling mouth.
😰 Face With Open Mouth And Cold Sweat now has a blue forehead, more closely matching the iOS version of this character.
😱 Face Screaming In Fear has also been updated to have a blue forehead, and wider eyes.
😵 Dizzy Face now has spirals as eyes instead of a large X. This is a clearer representation of dizzy, and joins Microsoft in using the spirals as eyes. Apple's artwork for this emoji looks very similar to the Astonished Face.
😈 Smiling Face With Horns has been corrected to be smiling, instead of frowning. More red.
And It Was All Yellow
Unicode recommends that emoji faces be displayed in a yellow, orange or other "nonhuman" shade.
Most white emoji characters have been changed to an emoji-yellow tone in Android 5, instead of their previous white tone.
Note: these changes are not part of the skin tone modifiers planned for Unicode 8, it is simply a change to the default artwork. This does, however, pave the way for skin tone modifiers to be implemented on Android in future versions.
These emoji also received yellow-skin updates:
- 👨 Man
- 👩 Woman
- 👴 Older Man
- 👱 Person With Blond Hair
- 👼 Baby Angel
- 👸 Princess
- 💆 Face Massage
- 💇 Haircut
- 💏 Kiss
- 💑 Couple
- 👰 Bride With Veil
- 💁 Information Desk Person
The 💂 Guardsman emoji remains white.
Yellow Faces; Pink Features
Newly pinkified facial features include:
Disco 💃 Dancer has retired, and is now a blobby casanova with a red rose.
💅 Nail Polish now a bottle of nail polish, not the act of polishing nails.
👒 Woman's Hat has gained a pink ribbon. (Was the previous one was not feminine enough?)
The 🐦 Bird is now blue instead of yellow.
🎅 Father Christmas now has a smile, and a slightly redder hat.
A different type of gun is shown for the 🔫 Pistol emoji.
⛳️ Flag In Hole now correctly shows a flag in the hole of a golf course, instead of appearing as a golf club and ball.
🍗 Poultry Leg no longer shows a whole roast.
🍖Meat On Bone is more true to the origin of this emoji, with a manga / anime style of meat shown.
💠 Diamond Shape With A Dot Inside is now a diamond shape.
It is promising seeing Google's attention to detail here. Apple has not released any new emoji (or changes to existing emoji artwork) since iOS 6 in 2012. It will be interesting to see what 2015 brings.