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emoji

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[Update: Unicode 12.0 officially out] Unicode's final Emoji 12.0 selections include a sloth, a falafel plate, and a lot more diversity

Roughly nine months after announcing a list of 104 candidates for Emoji 12.0, the Unicode Consortium has revealed its 59 final selections, which will release March 5th. As with its predecessors, the main focus for this update is broadening the diversity of emoji. New options include a guide dog, a hindu temple, and an emoji of two people holding hands that features 171 gender and skin tone variants.

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Gboard v7.9 prepares new emoticons, adds many new languages, and more [APK Teardown]

The holidays (and CES) are over and the many of Google's app teams are back in the full swing of releasing updates. Gboard's latest version hit this morning few directly visible changes outside of minor wording and color changes. However, there are some interesting things that can be gleaned from wandering through a teardown of the apk.

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Facebook Messenger Lite gets GIF support, chat color customization, and more

Messenger Lite, a stripped-down version of Facebook's popular Messenger chat client, has limited features by necessity; Facebook engineered the app to be optimized for budget devices and slow connections. While the simplicity can be refreshing compared to the bloated messes many Facebook-owned apps are becoming, it can also be constraining — but Facebook announced today that Lite is getting new tricks to bring it closer to its feature-rich older brother while maintaining its relatively light footprint.

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Gboard goes official with GIF, emoji, and sticker AI suggestions, picks up over 40 new language varieties

After tests popped up throughout the summer, Gboard has now officially announced it is using on-device AI to provide suggestions for stickers, GIFS, and emoji based on what users are typing. It was always possible to search for such content through the keyboard, but this feature brings up suggestions automatically, alerting users via the Google button on the upper left hand side of the keyboard. Additionally, Google's keyboard app gained support for 37 new languages, including new variants of Russian and Arabic, as well as several indigenous North American languages. 

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WhatsApp beta adds Unicode 11 emojis, private replies in groups

Back when I was six years old, a teacher showed us the image of an animal and asked us what it was. Several students answered "hippopotamus," and I was left wide-eyed and speechless. I was not used to being one of those who didn't know something, so the feeling stuck with me and I started working harder to avoid being as clueless as I was that day. If that incident is still imprinted in my memory, you can imagine that the hippo holds a special place in my heart too. My husband would tell you that I made him walk the entire Valencia Bioparc twice on our honeymoon because we missed the hippo on our first pass.

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😮 All emoji on Twitter now count for only two characters

In the biggest change the platform has seen since the switch to 280 characters, Twitter has changed the way it counts characters for emoji. Previously, some emoji — like those with additionally defined gender or skin tone — counted as more characters than others, due to the method of their encoding. But as of now, all emoji will be counted equally as two characters.

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Microsoft changes pistol emoji in latest Windows update

Emojis, modern day hieroglyphs, are always in flux. The Unicode Consortium is responsible for developing new characters, but it is up to individual companies to decide how they will look on their devices. Few have changed as much as the “pistol” emoji, which is now essentially a water gun. Apple led the way several years ago by redesigning it into a green “water pistol” and since then, most operating systems have followed suit. Microsoft was the last remaining holdout despite announcing the revision back in April.

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[Update: Now widely available in Pie update] Android P Beta 2 adds 157 new emoji, brings back some gender-inclusive ones

Android P Beta 2 / DP3 just landed earlier today, and while we're digging in to look for new features, a few of the more visually apparent additions have already been revealed. Today's release includes support for Unicode/Emoji 11.0—which was technically only officially released yesterday—as well as some tweaked gender-inclusive family and couple emoji which more closely follow the Unicode standard. 

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Latest Instagram tests swap DM and profile tab positions, add quick emoji access to comments

Google is the king of server-side tests, but it's by no means the only company that does them. Instagram also uses them fairly often, and this time around, it's trying something that may make some people a bit annoyed. It's experimenting with swapping the profile and DM icons, as well as putting a row of emoji in the comments section for quick access.

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Samsung AR Emoji update lets you fine-tune your creepy little avatar

Samsung has updated its AR Emoji creator tool with better facial tracking and a bunch of new customization options "that will make it even easier for your AR Emoji to capture your individuality." The update lets you fine-tune a number of features on your creepy little avatar, from the shape of its soulless eyes to the width of its unsettling grin.

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