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. ✨
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Each year, the Unicode Consortium receives innumerable suggestions of new emoji to add to the already exhaustive library of designs. Emoji 12.1 was released this past winter and included such hits as "farmer with pitchfork" and "person with probing cane." By the end of this most recent proposal cycle for Emoji 13.0, Unicode had picked roughly 60 designs that now go on to be officially designed and distributed by each emoji-using platform.
Whether your reaction to the brand-new decade is excitement, fear, or entirely understandable anxiety, now you have one more method of expressing that emotion to others. At least, if you use Google Duo. Google's video messaging app has just added support for emoji-based reactions. 🎉
It's incredible how feature-packed Gboard has become over the years with integrated stickers, GIFs, Google Search, clipboard management, and much more, so Google is trying to make some options more accessible. At the moment, the company is testing a function that gives people GIF and sticker suggestions when they add emoji through the keyboard.
Unicode 12.0 was officially announced many months ago, but the emojis and changes it brought have slowly been trickling down to different platforms. Google already implemented them in Android 10, but WhatsApp, which likes to use its own cross-platform designs, is just now following suit.