Google has published a support library over on their developers website that aims to allow all users regardless of which OS they run to view any emoji they’re sent. The library, called EmojiCompat, can be built into virtually any Android O-optimized app developers want to make every present and future emoji compatible with each version of Android.
Google’s initiative with this development tool is to eliminate those annoying blank boxes we’re all used to seeing when someone sends us an emoji that isn’t supported by our phone’s operating system. For instance, iPhones have some emoji that aren’t on Android, and when your iOS friend sends one of these icons to your Droid, you’re left guessing what they just sent you. With this new tool, any app that receives emoji – like messaging apps – will be able to pick up any icon that’s sent and display it for you rather having to show a placeholder for it.
The library can also be updated constantly. So whenever Unicode adds new emoji to their database, Google will be able to add it to their library and have it appear on anyone’s device without having to upgrade their OS. Sending these emoji is a different story, however, as users will still need the latest version of Android to actually send the icons. But at least if you’re sent one, you’ll be able to actually see it.
It’s unclear which application could utilize this tool first. Ideally, Google’s Allo or Android Messaging could be upgraded with this new library to make messaging better for Android users. Of course, we don’t know this for sure, but it would make the most sense for Google to get first dibs on the utility since they invented it.
You can find out more about this library of emoji here.