Today, Google announced a new beta for its upcoming Android P release that shows the new emoji updates coming later this year, including new items like a skateboard and lobster, support for redheads, and a gender-neutral option for the family and couple emojis.
These emojis already existed in the Unicode Standard, and Google is now following the guideline stating, as Emojipedia says, that “if a gender isn’t mentioned, then a gender-neutral or gender-inclusive display should be used.” So, the default emoji for family and couple will be gender ambiguous, and in the sub-menu for each, specific combinations of gender can be selected.
This could be an indication that Google will move toward a gender-neutral option as the default for other emojis in the future. Last year, Apple announced some separate, gender-neutral emoji of its own.
Outside of the gender-neutral shift, there are many other changes coming for the next set of Android emojis. Some are just getting tweaked — like the salad emoji no longer containing egg as an ingredient in order to make it vegan — while others, like the pistol, are getting an overhaul to reduce emphasis on violence. (It’s been replaced with a water gun !)
There’s also new sets of emoji for redheads, curly hair, white hair, and bald people, as well as a slew of new emoji faces, like one with a birthday party hat on, and new items, such as a mango, ball of yarn, and a llama.
Android P Beta 2 is out now for those with eligible devices and rolling out to everyone some time in July or August 2018.