Today is World Emoji Day, a “holiday” that is apparently a thing. To celebrate, both Google and Apple have shared some new emoji coming to Android 11 and iOS this year.
For iOS, yesterday Apple previewed to Emojipedia 13 new emoji, including a dodo, a matryoshka doll, piñata, a tamale, anatomical heart, beaver, boomerang, lungs, ninja, the transgender symbol, boba tea, a coin that for some reason says “The Crazy Ones” on it, and the long-awaited “pinched fingers.” (We all know it’s the “Italian hand” though, as expertly demonstrated in this photo of Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.) All of these were approved by the Unicode Consortium back in January as part of the Emoji 13.0 set, and will likely debut in the latter half of this year, probably with iOS 14.
Not to be outdone, Google also gave an overview of 117 new emoji designs for Android 11. According to 9to5 Google, this set will include 62 new characters and 55 skin tone and gender variations. The designs will also purportedly look better with Android’s dark mode. Like the new iOS emoji, the set includes a ninja, boba tea, an anatomical heart, lungs, piñata, and tamale. You can get a peep of the full set here.
An Emojipedia blog also lists some of the classic designs coming back to Android 11. This includes the good frog emoji; other animal friends like the pig face and hatching chick are getting refreshed designs that are similar to their 2013 incarnations. Some of the animals are getting a more “realistic” design—albeit with a more friendly appearance—that 9to5 Google says was developed with the Victoria Bug Zoo and the Monterey Bay Aquarium. For some reason, Google is also trying to brainwash us into thinking scorpions are not terrifying, by adding a smiling cat mouth to its scorpion emoji. This is a lie. Scorpions are many things, but cute murder arachnids is a bridge too far.
This is great, but there is only one emoji of all these that I truly care about. And that is the glorious return of the turtle. You know which turtle I’m talking about. The perfect turtle friend several of us promised to protect with our lives that Google murdered with Android 8. The return was first reported a few weeks ago, but you might not have caught it due to the dumpster fire news cycle. So this is another PSA that the Perfect Turtle is confirmed as coming back. The design is final. After Twitter hacks, an unending stream of bleak coronavirus news, and the usual tech fuckery-duckery, the beautiful smiling face of this cartoon turtle is the balm my shriveled, desiccated soul needed this morning.