Witnessing a steep rise in the emoji use worldwide, Google has rolled out a quick access emoji bar in Gboard beta version, which would be available to all Gboard Android users in the coming months. The new emoji shortcuts bar in Gboard will appear right above the keyboard. With the emoji bar, users would be able to quickly use multiple emoji without having to switch to the dedicated emoji page on the keyboard. In the current Gboard version, the users need to tap on the emoji icon next to the spacebar in order to open the emoji page.
According to Google, there have been over 40 per cent rise in the use of emoji during the shelter-in-place and social distancing times as people now have more emoji options than ever before. Last year, Google sent a proposal focused on introducing more empathetic expressions and finding opportunities to bring equity to the keyboard to the Unicode Consortium, the nonprofit organization that maintains emoji standards and guidelines.
"We'll see some of those efforts released this fall with a slightly smiling face, an emoji of two people hugging, a man in a veil, a woman in a tuxedo, and a person feeding a baby," the company said in a statement on Friday. Along with other emoji approved by Unicode, 117 new emoji will be available with the release of Android 11 in the fall. Android 11, expected to be launched on September 8, comes with a host of new features, including redesigned and reorganised notifications. There are also a number of accessibility, smart home, and general improvements included with Android 11 as well.