Google has begun rollout of their new OS update, Android 9.0, also known as Android Pie. Contained within this release are Google’s Emoji 11.0 updates as well as numerous tweaks to existing emoji designs.
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 🔫 Pistol changing to a toy squirt gun in a move expected to be echoed by all major vendors by the end of the year.
Above: From firearm to orange water pistol: Google’s new 🔫 Pistol emoji design.
As well as this, 👪 Family and 💑 Couple With Heart have been modified to display gender-inclusive designs, as opposed to sharing the imagery of the 👨👩👦 Family: Man, Woman, Boy and 👩❤️👨 Couple With Heart: Woman, Man emojis respectively.
The 🐢 Turtle emoji is now more alert and appears to have regained some of its old amicability, the 🗡️ Dagger now glistens blue like Frodo's Sting, and the 🥗 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.
The introduction of the 👨🦰 Red Haired Man and 👩🦰 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.
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 👨 Man or 👩 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.
Both 🦸♂️ Man Superhero and 🦸♀️ 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 🦹♂️ Man Supervillain and 🦹♀️ 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.
New animal and foodstuff emoji are always warmly welcomed. Emoji 11.0 features sixteen new emojis across these two categories.
Above: The ten new animal emoji from Emoji 11.0, including 🦘 Kangaroo and 🦞 Lobster. It's noteworthy that 🦡 Badger and 🦛 Hippopotamus are rendered as forward-facing heads, unlike their whole-bodied Twemoji 11.0 counterparts.
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.
🤗 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'.
🤨 Face With Raised Eyebrow now raises the opposite end of the right eyebrow.
🐪 Camel has a more proportionate head and hump.
🦒 Giraffe now displays the full animal rather than just the head.
💣 Bomb had its fuse tweaked, now appearing more obviously lit.
🥓 Bacon is no longer a raw piece of bacon, and is instead shown cooked and therefore ready for human consumption.
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.
Perhaps related to the Red Cross and its known efforts to ensure this design isn't used for “general signs of ambulances, health care, first aid, the nursing or medical profession, or similar matters” ↩︎