Google has begun rollout of their new OS update, Android 9.0, also known as Android Pie[1]. Contained within this release are Google’s Emoji 11.0 updates as well as numerous tweaks to existing emoji designs.

With the release of Android 9.0, Google is the second major vendor to provide support for the 157 new emojis featured within Emoji 11.0, following the Twemoji 11.0 release in June.

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Above: Google’s designs for the six new smiley emojis from Emoji 11.0: πŸ₯° Smiling Face With 3 Hearts, πŸ₯΄ Woozy Face, πŸ₯΅ Hot Face, πŸ₯Ά Cold Face, πŸ₯Ί Pleading Face and πŸ₯³ Partying Face.

As previewed during the testing period of Android P Beta 2, several noteworthy tweaks have been made to several emoji from earlier releases. These include the πŸ”« Pistol changing to a toy squirt gun in a move expected to be echoed by all major vendors by the end of the year.

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Above: From firearm to orange water pistol: Google’s new πŸ”« Pistol emoji design.

As well as this, πŸ‘ͺ Family and πŸ’‘ Couple With Heart have been modified to display gender-inclusive designs, as opposed to sharing the imagery of the πŸ‘¨β€πŸ‘©β€πŸ‘¦ Family: Man, Woman, Boy and πŸ‘©β€β€οΈβ€πŸ‘¨ Couple With Heart: Woman, Man emojis respectively.

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The 🐒 Turtle emoji is now more alert and appears to have regained some of its old amicability, the πŸ—‘οΈ Dagger now glistens blue like Frodo's Sting, and the πŸ₯— Green Salad (somewhat controversially) no longer includes egg in its ingredients list, making it vegan-friendly.

All of these previous design changes have now officially been released with Android 9.0.

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New

The introduction of the πŸ‘¨β€πŸ¦° Red Haired Man and πŸ‘©β€πŸ¦° Red Haired Woman emojis have easily been one of Emoji 11.0's most anticipated features. However, Emoji 11.0 also features people with curly hair, people with silver hair, and bald people.

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Above: Google's four new hair style emoji designs for both men and women. Each support the five Fitzpatrick Scale skin tone modifiers.

These hair styles are created through combining either πŸ‘¨ Man or πŸ‘© Woman with one of four new "emoji component" code points in what is known as a ZWJ sequence. Unlike Twemoji, Google has opted to provide each of these components with stand-alone designs, as shown below.

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Above: Google has given graphic representation to the new 🦰 Emoji Component Red Hair, 🦱 Emoji Component Curly Hair, 🦳 Emoji Component White Hair and 🦲 Emoji Component Bald code points.

Also included in Emoji 11.0 are the 🦸 Superhero and 🦹 Supervillain. In designing these emojis, Google has made some less-than-subtle nod to our world's two major comic book publishers.

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Above: The man and woman variants of 🦸 Superhero and 🦹 Supervillain. All support skin tone modifiers, though the 🦹 Supervillain designs default to a ghastly white instead of the standard yellow.

Both πŸ¦Έβ€β™‚οΈ Man Superhero and πŸ¦Έβ€β™€οΈ Woman Superhero show a hero jumping into action with a blue suit and flowing red cape, very reminiscent of DC's man (and women) of steel. Meanwhile, the πŸ¦Ήβ€β™‚οΈ Man Supervillain and πŸ¦Ήβ€β™€οΈ Woman Supervillain pose with full-bodied evil intent while their shoulder pads feature adornments clearly inspired by the classic design of Marvel's Mr. Sinister.[2]

New animal and foodstuff emoji are always warmly welcomed. Emoji 11.0 features sixteen new emojis across these two categories.

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Above: The ten new animal emoji from Emoji 11.0, including 🦘 Kangaroo and 🦞 Lobster. It's noteworthy that 🦑 Badger and πŸ¦› Hippopotamus are rendered as forward-facing heads, unlike their whole-bodied Twemoji 11.0 counterparts.

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Above: The six new foodstuff emoji from Emoji 11.0, including πŸ₯­ Mango and 🧁 Cupcake

Body parts, science objects and household paraphernalia are also featured alongside other more stand-alone additions such as the πŸ›Ή Skateboard and the 🧿 Nazar Amulet).

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Above: A selection of Google's Emoji 11.0 designs.

Notable design choices present within the select above include 🦠 Microbe being represented as five of the tiny creatures as opposed to just one, 🧩 Jigsaw showing two jigsaw pieces and 🧱 Brick displaying an entire brick wall as opposed to a single block.

Changed

Several of the smiley face emojis have had subtle design changes in Android 9.0. Two that are worth highlighting here are πŸ€— Hugging Face and πŸ™ƒ Upside-Down Face.

πŸ€— Hugging Face now has its hands facing outwards, which is how a majority of major vendors display this emoji. This is less hug-like, but more compatible with the common use as 'excited / jazz hands'.

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πŸ™ƒ Upside-Down Face has had its gradient inverted to match those of the other smiley faces, as discussed on a recent episode of the Emoji Wrap podcast, featuring Google's Jennifer Daniel.

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🀨 Face With Raised Eyebrow now raises the opposite end of the right eyebrow.

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Other smileys with minor design changes include πŸ˜ͺ Sleepy Face (lowered eyebrows), 🀠 Cowboy Hat Face (wider grin), πŸ€₯ Lying Face (longer nose) and 😱 Face Screaming in Fear (eyebrows removed).

πŸ• Dog and 🐢 Dog Face has been tweaked with ears shortened, tongue lengthened, and their face rounded for all an overall more cute-and-pudgy look.

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πŸͺ Camel has a more proportionate head and hump.

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πŸ¦’ Giraffe now displays the full animal rather than just the head.

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🌝 Full Moon Face and 🌚 New Moon Face have been changed into astronomical versions of the 😏 Smirking Face, reflecting the sideways glance shown on iOS and WhatsApp.

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🌞 Sun With Face has a more subtle smile, somewhat akin to the πŸ™‚ Slightly Smiling Face

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πŸ•ΆοΈ Sunglasses now appears with the same design as shown on 😎 Smiling Face With Sunglasses.

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πŸ’£ Bomb had its fuse tweaked, now appearing more obviously lit.

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πŸ₯“ Bacon is no longer a raw piece of bacon, and is instead shown cooked and therefore ready for human consumption.

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⚾️ Baseball has had its stitching increased in size to match the new πŸ₯Ž Softball emoji.

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πŸ₯ Hospital now shows an outlined red cross instead of a solid red cross[3]

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Release

Android 9.0 is out now for those with eligible devices, with rollout continuing over the coming months.

As with all Android releases, this will only reach the subset of devices whose carriers and/or device-makers support the latest software updates. Additionally, Samsung devices use their own emoji font and therefore will not be eligible for this update.

Editor's note: It appears that some builds of Android 9.0 include only a subset of these changes. For users with these builds, the same updates may appear in a future release.


  1. πŸ₯§ β†©οΈŽ

  2. This is similar to how the πŸ‘¨β€πŸŽ€ Man Singer and πŸ‘©β€πŸŽ€ Woman Singer
    appear-like-but-not-as David Bowie across most vendors and, in the case of WhatsApp, Prince. β†©οΈŽ

  3. Perhaps related to the Red Cross and its known efforts to ensure this design isn't used for β€œgeneral signs of ambulances, health care, first aid, the nursing or medical profession, or similar matters” β†©οΈŽ