Thanks to Emojipedia you don’t have to install the Android N Developer Preview to see Google’s take on the latest Unicode 9.0 emoji. The move away from generic bulbous characters to more human-like designs has apparently been a contentious decision, but this update also includes several new emoji that should make everyone happy…
Android fans who adore the bulbous blob emoji are not totally out of luck as many of the ‘face’ emoji — smiling face with sunglasses, nerd face, smiling face with horns, etc. — remain the same. In fact, the are new faces like nauseated, drooling, lying, and sneezing face in Android N.
However, emoji such as girl, man, baby, construction worker, etc. do get a more human-like appearance and come in a variety of skin tones. According to Emojipedia, the blobby characters are actually “recommended by Unicode for emojis with no specified gender” and that there is a new specification in the works to add genders like male, female, or gender-neutral in a future update.
So far, it appears that Android will be sticking to the same emoji picker located in the Google Keyboard, though that might change between now and the final release. Like iOS, it would be nice if there was a better picker to choose different emoji skin tones than just listing all of them side-by-side.
The new emoji and Android N should be released this coming summer in public, although you can install Android N on Nexus devices right now. Nexus devices will likely be the first to get the final release, but perhaps the earlier developer preview schedule will mean OEMs readying updates sooner as well. For a full list of the new characters, check out Emojipedia.