If you own an Android phone, you’re probably familiar with Google’s unconventional emoji.
They’re slightly blob-shaped and alien-like. Some of them are downright scary, others have a quirky charm to their squished expressions. They certainly don’t look neatly rounded and human, like Apple’s iOS emoji.
Google is finally admitting defeat, and has redesigned its default emoji to look a little more recognisable, according to Fast Company.
“We’re doing a full redesign of the emoji set,” Gus Fonts, an Android product manager said. “We took a look at many things, but mostly the thing that’s most striking is, perhaps, that yes, the candy dots or blobs, are now substituted with a set of squishy circles — for a lot of good reasons.”
The new emoji do look more like normal people rather than cartoon aliens, with round faces and discernible features.
Google will bring the new emoji to its most up-to-date operating system, Android O, which is already out in beta and will launch properly this summer.
According to the Fast Company report, Google spent 18 months completely rethinking its emoji design, and even tried to design gender stereotypes out of its new icons.
But why redesign the emoji at all? Some people think the blobs have more personality than the iOS icons.
The main reason is miscommunication, according to Google. Most people expect to see the standard emoji, so it’s confusing if you send the dancer emoji to a friend and they see a weird, misshapen jellybean instead.
Fonts told Fast Company he calls the blob-style emoji “peanuts”, so now we know the semi-official term for the blobs.
Google didn’t talk about the new emoji at its I/O developer event yesterday, so it isn’t clear yet if the blobs are gone forever, or if there’ll be some way to keep them on Android O. Google hasn’t responded to a request for clarification yet.
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