• iOS 14 and Android 11 will bring over brand new emoji this fall, and some of them will be available in the beta releases that precede the rollout of the final software versions.
  • Apple previewed 13 emoji to celebrate World Emoji Day, including ninja “Italian Hand,” and transgender symbol.
  • Google made more changes to its emoji set, including more skin tone and gender variants, new designs for dark mode, and “more authentic” looks for animal emoji.

It’s not just Friday, July 17th, today. It’s World Emoji Day, the day that we celebrate the increasing number of pictograms that really help us communicate our thoughts with our family and friends. The ancient Egyptians had it right all along. Images are more powerful than words. And we absolutely need more images on our iPhone and Android devices that can better illustrate what we mean. That’s why tech companies release new emoji every year, and 2020 is no different. Both iPhone and Android are going to get new emoji symbols this year, and some of them could soon be available inside the betas of iOS 14 and Android 11.

As it usually happens, the Unicode Consortium approved these emoji, so they won’t be exclusive to either platform. When you’ll “Italian Hand” someone later this year, they’ll get the same emoji, whether they’re on iPhone or Android. That’s the iconic pinched hand gesture that many Italians use in real life, and it stands for “What do you mean/want?” You’ll soon use it in an emoji sentence.

iOS 14 Emoji
Apple’s new emoji for iOS 14. Image source: Apple

Aside from Italian Hand, Apple unveiled 12 additional emoji that will come to iOS 14, all of which were approved in January. The realistic heart and lungs fit current times, sadly. The novel coronavirus mainly goes for the lungs, although it affects many other organs, including the heart.

Other new emoji hitting iOS 14 this year include the transgender symbol, ninja, tapioca milk tea, boomerang, Matryoshka doll, the dodo bird, coin, and the pinata. As Engadget points out, iOS 14 will also bring over new colored face mask options for Memojis.

Android 11 Emoji
Google’s new emoji for Android 11. Image source: Google via 9to5Google

Google’s new emoji collection for Android 11 seems to be even larger. But that’s because we’re looking at 62 new characters, including 55 skin tone and gender variations, according to 9to5Google.

Like Apple’s new emoji, Google’s imagery complies with the new Emoji 13.0 standard from the Unicode Consortium. Google advocated for “more empathetic expressions and finding opportunities to bring equity to the keyboard.”

Android 11 will include emoji for slightly smiling face, two people hugging, a man in veil, and person feeding baby. Other new emoji additions include the anatomical heart and lungs, pinata, long drum, tamale, boba tea, and teapot.

Android 11 Emoji
Google’s new emoji for Android 11. Image source: Google via 9to5Google

Google’s animal emoji will also get a makeover, as they’ll have a “more authentic look” going forward. Google worked with the Monterey Bay Aquarium and Victoria Bug Zoo on this endeavor.

Google also redesigned some of the existing emoji, so they work just as good in dark-mode.

All these Android 11 emoji will be available in Android 11 betas, and the Gboard keyboard will get a quick access emoji bar to let you pick the appropriate emoji quicker than before.

Chris Smith started writing about gadgets as a hobby, and before he knew it he was sharing his views on tech stuff with readers around the world. Whenever he's not writing about gadgets he miserably fails to stay away from them, although he desperately tries. But that's not necessarily a bad thing.