If you're wishing someone a happy Valentine's day using Hangouts today rather than face-to-face, Google's got a special easter egg for you.
Back in December, Google added tons of special animations to Hangouts, triggered by words like "woohoo" or "yay!!" or "lmao," but it looks like there are some extra treats for Valentine's day. Typing "Happy Valentine's," or "Happy Valentine's day" will trigger a few heart-themed animations, featuring a love-struck emoji or a fox gifting flowers to its duck Valentine.
This easter egg seems to be part of Google's effort to make Valentine's day special for users across its web properties, with other tricks including a heart-filled +1 action on Google+ (seen below) and Google's "special edition" reCAPTCHAs.
One of the best things about tech companies is that they believe in having a little fun around the holidays, and there's no better time to take a beat to enjoy the festivities than New Year's Eve. Facebook just featured a themed selfie frame in its Messenger app, and Google is matching with a dancing emoji when you type the words "Happy new years" to somebody.
This easter egg has actually been around for a few days, but we thought today was the perfect day to highlight it. One more emoji isn't the most exciting thing, but you can have a little bit of fun surprising your uninitiated friends with a little animated treat.
Here's something most of us probably weren't aware of. Since Unicode 6.0, Emoji flags have each been given a two-letter regional indicator listed in ISO_3166-1. Until now, only ten of these flags actually showed up as images on Android. This remains the case on other platforms, such as iOS, Windows, and Mac OS X. Instead of an image, you see the two characters associated with each country. You can test this out for yourself by going over to Emojipedia and seeing which flags load (the ten standard ones are placed separately at the top).
On Android 5.0, this situation changes drastically. Users are able to see over 200 flags.
If you've seen a couple of your friends flood their social feeds with single-panel comic strips starring people they know, chances are they didn't all suddenly learn how to draw at once. More than likely, they've all developed an affection for Bitstrips, a means for people to easily create avatars and inject them into comical situations.
There's an Android app out that lets you have fun from a mobile device, but if you really want to inject these characters into your daily life, you're going to want Bitmoji, the company's latest release.
As the name implies, Bitmoji takes your avatar and uses it to create a large number of emoji that you can then paste into your chats or other apps.
Yesterday we reported on the appearance of several redesigned emoji in the keyboard Google's rolling out with Android 5.0. In the piece, I concentrated on the improved consistency brought in by the tweaks. As it turns out, there was one more change hidden in plain sight among the others, and its importance shadows all others. Google has quietly addressed a bug report that has lingered for years.
Let's take a look at the issue at hand here. These are two of the images included in yesterday's post. On the left, we have the old set of emoji. On the right, we have the new ones included with Lollipop's version of Google Keyboard.
In Android 5.0, the default keyboard looks substantially different from how it has looked largely since the days of Ice Cream Sandwich. The new out-of-the-box method of typing comes with a flatter theme that supplies a stark new feel. At the end of the day, though, it's still used primary to punch in letters onto the screen, and there's nothing particularly exciting to share there. One change we would like to highlight though is the addition of new emoji.
Google hasn't completely redone the full collection of smiley faces and other icons, but it has taken this time to alter some of its previous work.
Emoji are a staple in conversations for many, many people. They offer a colorful, language-agnostic way to convey thoughts and intent that can’t always come across in a wall of text. Instant messaging is the most common home to these little pictograms, but it's not unheard of for them to appear elsewhere, particularly within contact names. Unfortunately, when Emoji are used to decorate contacts in Gmail, it can interfere with the syncing service and prevent those contacts from crossing between devices.
You’re not going to see any overt warning messages or obvious signs that something has gone wrong, but there are a couple of things to look for.
Some discoveries are exciting enough to reach out to every Android Police reader all over the globe and bring them into our comments section to summon their best GIFs and memes. Other discoveries are simply amusing. Consider this one the latter. As it turns out, Play Store changelogs are capable of displaying emoji.
Those little pictographic symbols on your keyboard are about to get much more expansive now that Unicode 7.0 has been released. Yes, the designers of emoji don't just come up with this stuff on their own – they are part of the text presentation standards that keeps letters consistent across platforms. Included in the new emoji are gems like a thermometer, a chipmunk, a middle finger, and a diesel locomotive... which I'm sure we'll all get lots of use out of.
Look, not every tip needs to be about extending battery life or accessing things more easily. Today we've got some smiley faces and stuff. It turns out you can use Emoji in homescreen folder names, which is neat.