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by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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Linked by Jason Snell

Emoji Defragmentation: Goodbye, Google blobs

Image courtesy Emojipedia.

As I’ve written about before, one of the problems with emoji is that different operating systems and websites render emoji differently—which can lead to misunderstandings and confusion when sending messages across platforms or when switching between platforms.

Among the many announcements today at Google’s I/O developer conference1 was the next version of Android, currently called Android O. And it includes a major step for Google’s emoji designs: They’re all new, with support for the brand-new Emoji 5.0 spec, including a dinosaur and a vomiting face.

But the biggest step may be the death of the Google gumdrop blob, as explained by Emojipedia’s Jeremy Burge:

The “blob” character seen in previous versions of Android has been a divisive character; morphing over time from an alien, into a consistent gumdrop shape. In Android O, the gumdrop is gone: replaced with round smiley shape, consistent with all other operating systems.

As a Gmail user I see these blobs occasionally and I don’t like them. Not only do I find them unappealing aesthetically, but they’re rendered in a way utterly unlike the equivalent emoji on other platforms. The new Android O emoji, on the other hand, look awesome. I’m looking forward to seeing what Apple’s take on the Emoji 5.0 spec is, presumably when iOS 11 is announced in June.


  1. Yes, one of the things I’m most exicted about at Google I/O is new emoji. I’m sorry, this is who I am. ↩