Emoji are vital. Whenever Unicode consortium, a non-profit group that handles dissemination and approval of emoji, releases a new set, there’s palpable excitement to start using them in our favorite apps and devices as soon as possible. However, we often need to wait it out until Apple, Google, or your phone maker releases an OS update with the new set.
This process may change for Android customers. A clue in Android code that suggests the Big G is considering separating emoji from the system update, so you will get them sooner.
Here’s what’s happening: until now, font files containing emoji had been saved under the /system/fonts directory. So refreshing them has been possible only through an online update.
The new code commit suggests that they’re to be saved under a new /data/fonts/files directory, which allows for a server update to those files. That means Google or other producers can push a font file update to push new emojis to users anytime.
The new code also signifies that it will help other apps to read these files and import new emojis straight into their system.
This code hasn’t been merged to the Android open source project, so it’s not final yet. But we are able to hope that this update makes the cut and we get new emojis without waiting for an over-the-air update.