Since we use emojis in many forms in various apps, we sometimes take them for granted or rather we don’t think about the work that goes into it. But each emoji is painstakingly coded and having variations of one emoji is also hard work. Sometimes it takes a couple of years to come up with creating a new emoji. Google is sharing about the work that has gone into creating 25 different multi-skin toned handshake emojis which will finally be coming to our Android devices by 2022.
Jennifer Daniel, Google’s creative director for emoji, shared that she submitted paperwork for the multi-skin toned handshake emoji to Unicode back in 2019. The proposal for the 25 variations involves the “right hand in all the various skin tone shades and a left in the various skin tone shades” so it actually made this particular emoji somewhat new again. But of course, all these various tones meant it was a bit more complicated.
Having different variations rather than just the yellow skin that we’ve seen the past years can convey the “general concept of unity and two sides coming to an agreement,” and as such, they expect it to be pretty popular once it is released. This variation of the emojis, along with the whole Unicode 14, was actually slated for release this 2021 but because of the pandemic, it has been pushed back to 2022.
The recent emoji releases have actually been heavy 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 table UI. When the multi-skin toned handshake emojis are released, this will probably be integrated here as well.
Emoji 14.0 will roll out sometime in 2022. We’ll most likely hear about this more when it’s close to the release date. In the meantime, you can explore more emoji combinations through the Emoji Kitchen on Gboard.