Have you ever noticed that the same emoji looks different on different platforms?

🔺:The difference in the appearance of the same emoji on iOS (left) and Android (right)

The difference in the picture above is relatively small, although they both don't look exactly the same, at least they are very similar. But there are some emojis that look completely different on different platforms(examples will be given in the following content🤣).

So why this difference exists❓ First we need to know the origin of emojis.

What is emoji?

The emojis originated in the 1990s and were designed and created by 👨‍💻Shigetaka Kurita, an interface designer working for Japanese mobile operator NTT DOCOMO. Once the emojis were launched, they quickly became popular with young people and became the trend on many platforms.

However, at that time, there was no way for emojis from different platforms to be compatible with each other ❌,so people would have some problems when sending emoji across platforms, such as emoji becoming garbled words or unable to be displayed. As emojis became more and more popular worldwide 📈, the need to solve this problem gradually emerged, so in 2010, the Unicode Consortium, which is responsible for encoding most of the world's writing systems, decided to incorporated emojis into Unicode. As a result, each platform has a unified encoding standard when introducing emojis, and the cross-platform compatibility of emoji is realized.

🔺:You can consult the codepoint of each emoji on our website

As an organization devoted to maintaining and publishing the Unicode Standard,the Unicode Consortium is mainly responsible for the review, management and coding of emojis, while the task of designing the appearance of emojis is 🫴 handed over to each platform.

Every year, once the Unicode Consortium has decided on the new emoji to be launched, each platform will design the appearance of the new emojis based on their information and sample image🖼. Since different platforms have their own branding concepts and design features✨, the designed emojis will have different appearances. Some platforms will even add some details related to themselves in the emoji design, for example, Apple designed their four book 📚emojis with the words "VOL X by John Appleseed", in honor of John Chapman, the first person to introduce apple trees to the United States.

We've listed the design images of several main platforms below, let's have a look!

Different design of emojis

1. Apple

Apple's design is my favorite one❗ Apple's emojis are more three-dimensional and realistic, and the processing of details is also very delicate. Some emojis look almost the same as the real things, so that people basically do not misunderstand their meaning (but insect emojis really do not need to be so realistic 😭).

The public is also more familiar with Apple's emojis. On the one hand, Apple has a larger number of users, on the other hand, Apple always releases new emojis faster than other platforms every year, so many people will be more impressed with Apple's emojis💥. This also leads many people to think that emojis are updated and expanded by Apple (I did the same at first🤐), but NONONO🙅, the birth of each new emoji will go through this process: People submit emoji proposals - Unicode Emoji Subcommittee review proposals - Platforms release new emojis.(Recommended reading: 🐣How to make a new emoji?

2. Google

🔺:Comparison of two designs of Google's emojis

Google launched the Blob emoji in 2013. These emojis have the irregularly fondant shape and look soft and elastic, so many people call them "jelly man" or "pudding"🍮. However, in order to keep the appearance of the emojis largely consistent across different platforms, Google changed this design after 2017 and adopted a design that is more similar to the design of other platforms.

Most Android devices use Google's emojis.

3. Microsoft

🔺:Comparison of two designs of Microsoft's emojis(Picture Spurce:https://docs.microsoft.com/)

Microsoft's old emojis feature a black border and cartoonish style🧸, but in the Windows 11 update introduced in November 2021, Microsoft replaced the previous style of its emojis with a new Fluent Design style. The new design has changed in color and style considerably compared to the previous one, and also closer to the design of other platforms.

4. Samsung

🔺:Comparison of previous Samsung emojis and emojis of other platforms(Picture Source:Emojipedia)

Samsung's emojis have also undergone a major update, as some of its previous emojis were so abstract that one could wonder what the hell it was... 😅

In 2018, Samsung updated the design of all emojis to make them look less distinctive. But the new design still retains a strong cartoon style.

Due to the limited space, there are many other platforms can't be introduced here one by one. You can view the design of all platforms on our websitePlatform List. You can also download them⬇

Problems caused by the difference between designs

From the previous content you can find that although all platforms are designing the same emojis, there are still many differences between the designs, which often leads to misunderstandings when people use emojis to communicate across platforms. For example, Samsung previously designed 🙄 as a small yellow face with a crooked smile, so many users misused this emoji as a smile emoji...

🔺:I really want to know what Samsung emoji designers are thinking about💀

But this problem is being solved. In the past few years, each platform has been continuously updating its own emoji design, whether it is the modification of individual emoji or the update of the overall style of emoji. Each change has gradually narrowed the differences between the designs of platforms.

Besides, there is another problem. Since each platform designs and updates new emoji at different times, you may find that some emojis can't displayed properly on some platforms or devices😩.

🔺:The boxes with x are the emojis that cannot be displayed properly

This issue is a little complicated, we will write another blog detailing it later. Please stay tuned🙇!


So now you know, the reason why emojis look different on different platforms is that each platform has its own design for emoji. However, to ensure the consistency of emojis across platforms, their designs may become more and more similar in the future, but since the emojis have now become a means for platforms to attract users, the platforms will definitely still retain their own characteristics in the design🤹‍♂️. Which platform's design do you like the most? Tell us in the comments!👇