Emojipedia wrote about Android’s Emoji Problem.
The Google design team had a head start over Apple in terms of emoji adoption.
Unicode 9 support was first added to Android 7.0 in August, followed by genders and professions which arrived with 7.1 in October 2016. This was some timely updating from Google, especially compared to previous years.
By contrast, iOS didn’t include any new emoji updates until iOS 10 in September. The rest of the new emojis came months later in iOS 10.2 in December 2016.
However, real world usage shows that Android is lagging behind Apple.
Just 4% of Android users are using any variation of 7.x Nougat (released in August-September 2016), resulting in 96 out of 100 Android users not seeing the latest emojis.
In contrast, 84% of iOS users who visited Emojipedia are on iOS 10.
Google’s own statistics on Android version share show worse results with under 1% using Android 7.0 Nougat.
As a result, apps are taking matters into their own hands to make emojis work on Android.
Snapchat, Messenger, WhatsApp, Telegram and Slack all use emoji-replacement images on Android; in a trend started by Twitter with Twemoji which was released when the most popular browser on Windows (Chrome) didn’t include emoji support.
WhatsApp and Telegram even use Apple’s own emoji images on Android, and makes a custom keyboard to display them