Besides getting bumped to the December security level, Pixel phones picked up a pretty big-ass feature drop on Monday. There was so much new stuff that one prominent feature slipped under the radar: We’re talking about the latest Emoji 13.1 version that has gone live for Pixel phones ahead of its planned broader release in 2021.

A total of 217 emoji were introduced (top entries are shown above) with the most recent update to Unicode’s list in September. A bunch of users spotted these emoji on their Pixel phones after installing the December update. Not all apps currently support the updated emoji set, so some, like Messages and WhatsApp, might split these new emoji into two (or more) existing ones (which might convey an entirely different meaning, so beware).

The new couples emoji in this package also use Gboard’s recently released table-based UI to pick separate skin tones for each partner (below).

If you’ve already received the December update on your Pixel phone, you can go ahead and try out these emoji for yourself, though your recipients might not necessarily be able to see them. For everyone else, Emoji 13.1 is still probably a bit far out as other smartphone makers will not match Google's pace in pushing the update.

  • Thanks:
  • Nick