Android 11 is set to usher in a variety of tweaks and changes, but few are as important as Google’s refreshed emoji.
As spotted by 9to5Google, the search giant is bringing back some old emoji favourites with Android 11. Sadly, we’re not talking about the blobs, but that doesn’t make the change any less great. Instead, Google is bringing back the old turtle emoji fro Android 7.1 Nougat.
When Android 8.0 Oreo arrived, it brought a totally new turtle emoji that fit the style of Google’s other emoji much better. Unfortunately, it also replaced the adorable turtle emoji from Nougat with a smug, wide-eyed monstrosity.
Android 11 will see the Nougat turtle return with a few tweaks, but arguably those tweaks just make it much cuter. And sure, it doesn’t fit with the style of the other Android 11 emoji, but I’m willing to make that trade for this much, much better turtle.
Of course, the turtle isn’t the only animal emoji receiving a refresh. The frog emoji is also getting a tweaked look that’s about halfway between the Android 7.1 and Android 10 versions of the emoji. I prefer the Android 11 variant to the others — the Nougat version just has way too much chin while the Android 10 frog’s eyes are deeply unsettling.
Further, the dog, cat, octopus, pig, fox and gorilla emoji are all getting redesigns, along with many other animals. The style departs from what’s common on other Google emojis with most of the animals reverting to something more akin to the blob-era without going full blob. I’d like to see more of Google’s emojis take on the new look as well.
Of course, we’re still in the first beta of Android 11, so all of this could change before launch. We could get more redesigned emoji in future updates, or Google could go back to the Android 10 style.