Android 5.0 Emoji Changelog

Google's emoji artwork has come a long way. Just one year ago, this is how Android displayed emoji:

Having black and white alien faces portraying a range of emotions such as happiness, sadness or love was challenging to say the least.

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

The most publicized oddity of the Android 4.4 emoji images was the hairy heart. This is how the πŸ’› Yellow Heart emoji looks[1] on Android 4.4:

This is now a standard yellow heart in Android 5, along with the other colors.

Top: Android 4.4, Bottom: Android 5. Yellow Heart, Blue Heart, Purple Heart, Green Heart, Solid Black Heart.


πŸ˜ƒ 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.

Top: Android 4.4, Bottom: Android 5. Man With Gua Pi Mao, Man With Turban, Police Officer, Construction Worker.

Top: Android 4.4, Bottom: Android 5. Baby, Girl, [Boy] (, Older Woman

These emoji also received yellow-skin updates:

The πŸ’‚ Guardsman emoji remains white.

Yellow Faces; Pink Features

Facial features and body parts have been updated to show in pink. Some gestures were already pink in Android 4.4, such as the πŸ‘ Thumbs Up Sign, πŸ‘Œ OK Hand Sign or πŸ‘ Clapping Hands Sign.

Newly pinkified facial features include:

Top: Android 4.4, Bottom: Android 5. Ear, Eyes (now correctly showing two eyes instead of one), Nose, Tongue, Mouth, and Flexed Biceps.

What Else?

Disco πŸ’ƒ Dancer has retired, and is now a blobby casanova with a red rose.

πŸ’… Nail Polish now a bottle of nail polish, not the act of polishing nails.

πŸ‘’ Woman's Hat has gained a pink ribbon. (Was the previous one was not feminine enough?)


The 🐦 Bird is now blue instead of yellow.

πŸŽ… Father Christmas now has a smile, and a slightly redder hat.

A different type of gun is shown for the πŸ”« 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.

πŸ— Poultry Leg no longer shows a whole roast.

πŸ–Meat On Bone is more true to the origin of this emoji, with a manga / anime style of meat shown.

πŸ’  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.

  1. The reason why the yellow heart emoji looks a hairy heart on Android 4.4 isn't truly known, but it was speculated by Mark Davis in his 2014 Unicode Conference Keynote that it could have been a misinterpretation of the black and white reference artwork distributed by Unicode: β†©οΈŽ