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Android 7.0 Nougat aims for inclusivity with its 72 new emojis

google android choice at every turn nougat
Image used with permission by copyright holder
Android 7.0 has been released, bringing a number of awesome new features. While the big features, like improved notifications and multitasking, are getting plenty of attention, there’s something else that isn’t: the new emojis in Nougat.

In fact, Android 7.0 brings a ton of new emojis, adding support for things like skin color modifiers, Unicode 9 emojis, and emojis with far more detailed appearances.

Perhaps the biggest change to the new emojis is that previously gender-neutral characters have now been changed into gendered ones. The goal here was not to be less inclusive — rather it was to make emojis a little more human, moving away from the worm-like blobs that previous Google emojis have looked like. Traditionally, Unicode has recommended a gender-neutral appearance for emojis, but this generally led to characters not being cross-platform, making it harder for Android users to talk to iPhone users, for example.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

While some may see the decision as a step back for Google, the goal is to make emoji more consistent across platforms. Sure, emoji in general should be more inclusive of different people, but Unicode is working toward this and has made a number of big changes to make emojis more inclusive, something that’s only set to continue.

For example, Android now supports skin tone modifications on all Unicode emojis. This comes at a time when all human emojis have been given a more detailed redesign. Google is a little late to the game in supporting skin tone modifications, however it’s nice to see that the change has finally been made.

Interestingly enough, unlike Apple Google has opted to keep the pistol emoji. The emoji remains the same as in previous iterations of Android. It does, however, make Apple the outlier — the company recently changed its pistol to a water pistol.

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