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Google's updated emoji designs finally arrive in Android 11 Beta 3

Android's emoji set has never been the consistent, culturally accepted staple that Apple's is. For a long time, users of stock Android enjoyed a fun, expressive collection of blobs. Google refined them to be more visually consistent in 2016's release of Android Nougat, only to completely get rid of the blobs the next year. Now, Google is giving its Noto Emoji their biggest visual change since the blobs melted.

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Despite delays, there will be new emoji in 2021

Back in April, we were reporting the coronavirus pandemic would delay Unicode 14.0's release by six months, implying no new emoji would be released in 2021. Thankfully, a minor update called Emoji 13.1 is said to be in the making, which should bring some new additions next year.

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Gboard is adding support for the new Android 11 emoji (APK download) 🎉

Like almost any new Android version, Android 11 ships with a selection of new emoji — 117, to be exact. If you currently want to use them in texts and messages, you need to copy and paste them from resources like Emojipedia, but that's finally changing. The latest Gboard beta is adding initial support for the new Emoji 13 set on Android 11.

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Google Messages is offering memerific doge-level quick reply suggestions for some

Sometimes, technology doesn't quite work the way it's supposed to. While this can have serious consequences, it's just funny othertimes. This is one of the latter instances: Google Messages is currently suggesting silly one-word quick replies to some people. Joy. Sadness. Confusion. Love1.

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Signal Messenger adds more emoji reactions 😂 ❤️👍

Signal isn't just a utilitarian app for sending encrypted messages it also incorporates many of the features you get in more mainstream services. The app hasn't only added support for link previews and ephemeral media messages, it also has a small selection of seven standard emoji reactions on board since February. Now, the company has announced that it has broadly expanded the feature — you can react to messages with any emoji you could think of, just like on Slack and Discord. ✨

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The Android 11 Beta has 117 new emoji on board

A new Android version would never be complete without a selection of new emoji. While keyboards and apps can take advantage of the emoji support library introduced with Android O and display any emoji independently, having new smilies in the system itself means you can see them in notifications and in those applications that don't rely on the EmojiCompat library. Subsequently, the Android 11 Beta packs all of the emoticons from the latest Unicode Emoji 13 update.

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Google would really like to remind you that all Duo calls are end-to-end encrypted

Since its launch in 2016, Google Duo has used end-to-end encryption for calls, messages, notes, and all kinds of communications carried through it. That encryption is one of the reasons we recommend using Duo to catch up with friends and family, but most users may not be aware of it. Now Google is boasting this privacy-centric approach for everyone to see, and while it's at it, it added the option to send more emojis to your contacts.

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SwiftKey picks up Emoji 12.0 support, more conspicuous Microsoft branding

Microsoft acquired SwiftKey about four years ago, and apart from some additions like optional Microsoft accounts, Bing, and the company's translate feature, it didn't change too much about the popular third-party keyboard. Earlier this year, though, Microsoft's name got more prominent in the app's settings, and now, the Redmond giant has decided it's about time to make it even more obvious whose keyboard you're using. Following a beta test run, the latest stable version of SwiftKey is now called "Microsoft SwiftKey Keyboard" and comes with a refreshed logo. On the feature front, it only offers new emoji for Android 10 users.

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Google officially introduces emoji mashup stickers on Gboard as 'Emoji Kitchen' (Update: Compact interface)

Gboard is constantly under construction as Google keeps finding ways to improve one of the most used tools on our phones. The latest experiment looks extremely similar to an earlier test that added GIF and sticker suggestions for emoji last year. This time, the company is experimenting with stickers that put one emoji's emotion on another emoji's shape, and the results can be hilarious.

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Google's second Pixel Feature Drop rolls out today with piles of new features

As we predicted last week, Google's latest quarterly Feature Drop is rolling out for Pixel phones today. Unlike the regular monthly security releases, this update includes a ton of new features, including a new play/pause gesture for Pixel 4's Motion Sense, a wider rollout of car crash detection, dark theme scheduling, Live Caption for the Pixel 2, a new power button wallet, live Duo AR effects, a pile of new emoji, and a whole lot more.

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