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Google shows off Android 11 emoji, including the return of a classic

Android 11 promises to be a major leap forward for the operating system. It’ll offer revamped notifications, chat bubbles and yada-yada-yada tell us about the emoji already, right?

To celebrate World Emoji Day, which is July 17, Google has shared the designs for the total of 117 new emoji that will be available in Android 11 when it arrives later this year.

The designs are Google’s interpretation of the Emoji 13.0 designs proposed by the Unicode Consortium. They will include 62 new characters and 55 skin tone and gender variants. So, for example, there’s a woman in a tuxedo and a man wearing a veil. There’s also some gender neutral depictions of a person feeding a baby.

Some of the new characters, in no particular order, include depictions of an anatomical heart and lungs (how 2020!), a teapot, a tamale, a piñata, a cockroach, a polar bear, a ninja, a bison, a beaver, a toilet plunger, and a gravestone (again, that’s pretty on-brand for 2020).

Those using the Android 11 beta can already sample some of these, but it’s the first time we’re seeing Google share the characters, which it says have also been designed to stand out more when the system-wide dark mode is enabled.

Google said many of the animals in the line up now look a lot more authentic, thanks to its work with the Monterey Bay Aquarium and Victoria Bug Zoo. The octopus in particular looks pretty authentic, as does the spouting whale. A lot of people also feel pretty excited about the classic turtle emoji from Android 7.1, judging by social media.

Google says: “In addition to creating new emoji, we took a look at some of our favorites! As we rely more and more on digital communications, so much of what makes face-to-face chat easy, is lost. Which is why we’re so happy to bring back some warmth to our little friends again; perhaps a few look a bit familiar. 🙂 It’s true, The King Has Returned with a glow up, as have a few of his friends. After all, we promised to protect this perfect tortoise with our lives.”

Google is also showing off a new beta for the Gboard keyboard, which provides quick access to commonly-used emoji.

A GIF of a black smartphone standing on white background explaining Google keyborad's emoji shorcut

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