Almost everyone uses a smartphone and have at some point probably run into a problem where someone sends you an emoji that just displays as a blank box or a box with an X through it. This happens due to incompatibilities with fonts supported by an operating system and can be quite frustrating. Google’s Android developers think they have figured out a way around this that will separate emoji display from the operating system and put more control in the hands of developers to open up the world of emojis to their users.
A new EmojiCompat support library is being rolled out by Android’s developers that aim at keeping Android devices up to date with the latest emoji. The new library will work on older Andriod like; Android 4.4 enabling devices running these older versions of Android to display new Emojis that have been released subsequent to their last operating system update. According to Google, the new support library can be configured to work with either bundled or downloaded fonts.
How it’ll work? The new support library uses the CharSequence code for any given emoji and replaces it with an “EmojiSpan” for any emojis that are currently missing on the target device. That EmojiSpan can then be used to render the emoji glyph or image.
Adding this new emoji support is a pretty good decision as emojis are an essential part of communication today. A little problem though, we have no idea which emoji glyphs will ultimately be displayed for instance; what Samsung, LG or HTC might supply on their devices or Google’s system glyphs.