Hiroshi Lockheimer promises support for new emojis in Android


Earlier this week, Apple rolled out the iOS 9.1 update for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch that introduced over 150 new emojis by adding support for Unicode 7.0 and Unicode 8.0 emojis.

To the dismay of Android users though, the recently released version of the OS — Marshmallow — only supports emoji set of up to Unicode 6.0. Considering that most Android devices take a significantly longer time to receive updates compared to iOS, and how popular emojis are becoming, this does seem like a poor oversight from Google.

Thankfully, all the hullabaloo made by Android users over at different social media platforms has worked as the new Senior Vice President of Android at Google, Hiroshi Lockheimer, has tweeted that the Android team at Google is “on it,” and has also apologised for the lack of Unicode 7.0 and 8.0 emoji set in Marshmallow.

Lockheimer did not provide any specific timeframe as to when Google plans on adding support for more emojis to Android, so we can be looking at anywhere between a few weeks to months here. Since emojis are a part of the font processing algorithm of Android, it is not possible for Google to update them frequently through the Google Play Store.

If Google adds more emoji support to Android by rolling out a minor update to the OS, it would still mean that billions of other non-Nexus Android devices out there don’t support it. Plus, it also means that every time in the future that Google wants to add new emojis to the OS, it would have to roll out a software update, and in the Android ecosystem, we all know how fast software roll outs happen.

Here is hoping that Google finds another solution to this problem that will allow not only Nexus but devices from other Android OEMs to support the latest emoji set.