Since we use emojis in so many ways in various apps, we sometimes take them for granted, or rather don’t think about the work that goes into it. But each emoji is painstakingly coded and having variations of an emoji is hard work too. Sometimes it takes a couple of years to create a new emoji. Google is sharing about the work that has been done to create 25 handshake emojis in shades of multiple different skins that will finally arrive on our Android devices in 2022.
Jennifer Daniel, emoji creative director at Google, shared that she submitted documentation for the multi-skin tone handshake emoji to Unicode in 2019. The proposal for all 25 variations involves the “right hand on all different skin tones and the left on the different skin tones, “so it actually made this particular emoji something new again. But of course, all these different shades meant it was a bit more complicated.
Having different variations instead of just the yellow skin we’ve seen over the years can convey the “general concept of unity and two sides coming to terms” and as such they hope it will be quite popular once it is released. This variation of the emojis, along with the entire Unicode 14, was scheduled for release in 2021, but due to the pandemic, it has been delayed until 2022.
Recent emoji releases have had a huge impact on skin tone and gender representation as a reflection of the changing times. Google’s virtual keyboard, Gboard, released an update last year that made it easier to select your preferred skin tone or gender through a new tabletop user interface. When multi-skin-toned handshake emojis are released, this will likely be integrated here as well.
Emoji 14.0 will be released sometime in 2022. We will most likely hear more about this closer to the release date. In the meantime, you can explore more emoji combinations through Emoji Kitchen on Gboard.