In 2016, SwiftKey released Swiftmoji, a new keyboard with predictive emoji, to make it faster to insert the colorful little characters into your messages and status updates. Swiftmoji worked essentially the same way SwiftKey's main keyboard did, with autocorrect and predictive typing, but with the distinction that it featured an additional bar at the top of the keyboard to display emoji suggestions based on context. Two years later, SwiftKey is finally shutting down Swiftmoji, as the app is now redundant and most of the functionality has already been rolled into the standard keyboard. Read More
"Machine learning" and "neural network" are familiar terms to anyone who follows what Google is up to these days, but they may not be the most accessible or comprehensible concepts for the masses. And that's fine — you don't need to have a firm grasp of machine learning to enjoy better photos or keyboards, for instance. Still, Google has been quietly showcasing ways for users to get more hands-on with these concepts, and the latest such experiment is a game called Emoji Scavenger Hunt. Read More
The unveiling of the Samsung Galaxy S9/S9+ is less than 2 weeks away, and thanks to the now customary series of leaks, we already know a fair amount about what to expect from the new flagship. Thanks to a report by Korean outlet ETNews, we potentially know a little bit more about a certain software feature that Samsung is preparing.
With the release of the iPhone X, Apple threw its substantial marketing clout behind a new animated emoji feature (Animojis) that mimics your facial expressions as you speak or sing. Apparently, Samsung has something similar up its sleeve for the Galaxy S9, and the report also mentions several other potential inclusions. Read More
For years, some Android manufacturers have been replacing the default emojis with their own set, usually to differentiate their devices. Samsung's set has always been bad, with several emojis showing completely different emotions than what is intended. The company has started rolling out Android 8.0 Oreo to its phones, and the included emojis are a much-needed improvement. Read More
Last year Unicode announced that the upcoming Emoji 11.0 Beta had 130 new candidates, meaning up to 130 new emoji could be joining the ranks of 🤨, 🏩 , and 🍖. Now that they've had the time to sit and deliberate over which are to be included, Unicode has somehow come up with 27 additional emojis that merited inclusion. Unicode's Emoji 11.0 characters for 2018 will bring 157 new faces/foods/animals. Read More
The announcement late last year that Snap intended to completely rebuild the Snapchat app has been welcomed by frustrated users. A fresh design followed, and since then we've also heard that Stories will soon be available on the web. The latest crumb of news to come out of Snap Inc. brings word that there's a new update for its other popular app, Bitmoji, offering tons of new styles. Read More
Google Maps has a new beta peeking out on devices. After a great deal of poking around, the list of changes for the interface is pretty sparse, but as always, there's a ton to discuss from the teardown. There's more from the home screen shortcuts, showtimes with ticket sales, detail fields for food photos, and way more. Read More
Yesterday brought us a new version of Gboard, bumping the version number up to 6.9. There's not much in the way of changes that you'll see right away, but there is now a semi-hidden feature that will tell you about changes when they happen. However, a deeper look into the APK does reveal plans to add a feature that provides suggested responses to go with messaging apps that implement Direct Replies. Also, the MAKE A GIF feature from the iOS version is making the jump to Android, Bitmoji support is getting baked in, and there's a universal search feature in the works. Read More
The addition of skin tones in emojis has been a nice but cumbersome feature. Most keyboards will show a pop-up when you use an emoji with skin tone modifier options, thus requiring two taps to insert a thumbs-up or facepalm or astronauts or dancers and dozens of other emojis. Worse yet, the different keyboard apps almost never remember your choice, so you have to do this for each emoji the first time you use it. Gah.
Fleksy keyboard has just done the right thing: in the app's settings on Nougat and above, you can now select a default skin tone, which will then be applied to all of the modifiable emojis. Read More
As Cyber Monday was wearing down, Google was already winding up some app updates. A new version of Gboard began rolling out late in the afternoon, and with it comes the long-anticipated handwriting support, meaning we can finally uninstall the separate handwriting keyboard. There are also some tweaks to the emoji picker. As we look to the teardown, there are signs of a new theme system with a few new options for more visual control, a new autospace feature, integration with the Motion Stills app, and more. Read More