Support modern emoji

The standard set of emoji is refreshed annually by Unicode, as emoji usage is increasing rapidly for all types of apps.

If your app displays internet content or provides text input, we strongly recommend supporting the latest emoji fonts. Otherwise, later emoji might be displayed as a small square box called tofu (☐) or other incorrectly rendered emoji sequences.

Android versions 11 (API level 30) and lower can't update the emoji font, so apps that display them on those versions must be updated manually.

The following are examples of modern emoji.

Examples Version
🫠 🫱🏼‍🫲🏿 🫰🏽 14.0 (September 2021)
😶‍🌫️ 🧔🏻‍♀️ 🧑🏿‍❤️‍🧑🏾 13.1 (September 2020)
🥲 🥷🏿 🐻‍❄️ 13.0 (March 2020)
🧑🏻‍🦰 🧑🏿‍🦯 👩🏻‍🤝‍👩🏼 12.1 (October 2019)
🦩 🦻🏿 👩🏼‍🤝‍👩🏻 12.0 (February 2019)

The androidx.emoji2:emoji2 library provides simpler backward-compatibility with lower versions of Android. The emoji2 library is a dependency of the AppCompat library and requires no further configuration to work.

Emoji support in Compose

BOM March 2023 (Compose UI 1.4) brings support for the latest emoji version, including backwards compatibility with older Android versions down to API 21. This page covers how to configure modern emoji in the View system. See the Emoji in Compose page for more.


To confirm that your app properly displays newer emoji, launch it on a device running Android 10 (API level 29) or lower. This page includes modern emoji you can display for testing.

Use AppCompat to support the latest emoji

AppCompat 1.4 includes support for emoji.

To use AppCompat to support emoji, do the following:

  1. Check that your module depends on the AppCompat library version 1.4.0-alpha01 or higher.

    // Ensure version is 1.4.0-alpha01 or higher.
    implementation "androidx.appcompat:appcompat.$appcompatVersion"
  2. Ensure all activities that display text extend the AppCompatActivity class.


    class MyActivity: AppCompatActivity {

    class MyActivity extends AppCompatActivity {
  3. Test your integration by launching your app on a device running Android 10 or lower and displaying the following test string. Make sure all characters render correctly.

    • 14.0: 🫠, 🫱🏼‍🫲🏿, 🫰🏽
    • 13.1: 😶‍🌫️, 🧔🏻‍♀️, 🧑🏿‍❤️‍🧑🏾
    • 13.0: 🥲, 🥷🏿, 🐻‍❄️
    • 12.1: 🧑🏻‍🦰, 🧑🏿‍🦯, 👩🏻‍🤝‍👩🏼
    • 12.0: 🦩, 🦻🏿, 👩🏼‍🤝‍👩🏻

Your app automatically displays backward-compatible emoji on all devices that provide an emoji2-compatible downloadable fonts provider, such as devices powered by Google Play services.

If your app is using AppCompat but displays tofu (☐)

In some cases, your app might display tofu instead of the proper emoji, even if you add the AppCompat library. The following are possible explanations and solutions.

You're running the app on a recently flashed device or a new emulator

Clear the app's Google Play services data to clear any font caching that might happen during startup. This typically resolves the issue after a few hours.

To clear the app data, do the following:

  1. Open Settings on your Android-powered device.

  2. Tap Apps & notifications.

  3. Tap See all apps or App info.

  4. Scroll through the apps and tap Google Play services.

  5. Tap Storage & cache.

  6. Tap Clear cache.

Your app isn't using an AppCompat text-related class

This can happen if you don't extend AppCompatActivity or if you instantiate a view in code, such as TextView. Check for the following:

  • The activity extends AppCompatActivity.
  • If creating the view in code, use the correct AppCompat subclass.

AppCompatActivity automatically inflates AppCompatTextView in place of TextView when inflating XML, so you don't need to update your XML.

The test phone doesn't support downloadable fonts

Verify that DefaultEmojiCompatConfig.create returns a non-null configuration.

An emulator on an earlier API level hasn't upgraded Google Play services

When using an emulator on an earlier API level, you might need to update the bundled Google Play services for emoji2 to find the font provider. To do this, log in to the Google Play Store on the emulator.

To verify that a compatible version is installed, do the following:

  1. Run the following command:

    adb shell dumpsys package | grep version
  2. Check that the versionCode is higher than 211200000.

Support emoji without AppCompat

If your app can't include AppCompat, it can use emoji2 directly. This requires more work, so only use this method if your app can't use AppCompat.

To support emoji without the AppCompat library, do the following:

  1. In your app's build.gradle file, include emoji2 and emoji2-views.

    def emojiVersion = "1.0.0-alpha03"
    implementation "androidx.emoji2:emoji2:$emojiVersion"
    implementation "androidx.emoji2:emoji2-views:$emojiVersion"

    The emoji2-views module provides subclasses of TextView, Button, and EditText that implement EmojiCompat. Don't use it in an app that includes AppCompat, because it already implements EmojiCompat.

  2. In XML and code—wherever you use TextView, EditText, or Button—use EmojiTextView, EmojiEditText, or EmojiButton instead.

    <androidx.emoji2.widget.EmojiTextView ... />
    <androidx.emoji2.widget.EmojiEditText ... />
    <androidx.emoji2.widget.EmojiButton ... />

    By including the emoji2 module, the system uses the default downloadable fonts provider to load the emoji font automatically shortly after app startup. No further configuration is needed.

  3. To test your integration, launch your app on a device running Android 11 or lower and displaying the following test strings. Make sure all characters render correctly.

    • 14.0: 🫠, 🫱🏼‍🫲🏿, 🫰🏽
    • 13.1: 😶‍🌫️, 🧔🏻‍♀️, 🧑🏿‍❤️‍🧑🏾
    • 13.0: 🥲, 🥷🏿, 🐻‍❄️
    • 12.1: 🧑🏻‍🦰, 🧑🏿‍🦯, 👩🏻‍🤝‍👩🏼
    • 12.0: 🦩, 🦻🏿, 👩🏼‍🤝‍👩🏻

Use EmojiCompat without widgets

EmojiCompat uses EmojiSpan to render correct images. Therefore, it has to convert any given CharSequence object into a Spanned object with EmojiSpan objects. The EmojiCompat class provides the process() method to convert CharSequences into Spanned instances. Using this method, you can call process() in the background and cache the results, which improves the performance of your app.


val processed = EmojiCompat.get().process("neutral face \uD83D\uDE10")


CharSequence processed = EmojiCompat.get().process("neutral face \uD83D\uDE10");

Use EmojiCompat for input method editors

The EmojiCompat class lets keyboards render the emoji supported by the app they are interacting with. Input method editors (IMEs) can use the getEmojiMatch() method to check whether an instance of EmojiCompat is capable of rendering an emoji. This method takes a CharSequence of an emoji and returns true if EmojiCompat can detect and render the emoji.

The keyboard can also check the version of EmojiCompat that the app supports to determine which emoji to render in the palette. To check the version, if available, the keyboard can look for the following keys in the EditorInfo.extras bundle:

  • EDITOR_INFO_METAVERSION_KEY: represents the version of the emoji metadata that the app uses. If this key doesn't exist, then the app isn't using EmojiCompat.
  • EDITOR_INFO_REPLACE_ALL_KEY: if the key exists and is set to true, then the app configures EmojiCompat to replace all emoji, even if they are present in the system.

Learn more about how to configure an instance of EmojiCompat.

Use emoji in custom views

If your app has custom views that are direct or indirect subclasses of TextView—for example, Button, Switch, or EditText—and those views can display user-generated content, they must each implement EmojiCompat.

The process varies depending on whether your app uses the AppCompat library.

Add custom views for apps with AppCompat

If your app uses AppCompat, extend the AppCompat implementation instead of the platform implementation. Use the following table as a guide for how to extend your views in AppCompat:

Instead of extending... Extend
TextView AppCompatTextView
EditText AppCompatEditText
ToggleButton AppCompatToggleButton
Switch SwitchCompat
Button AppCompatButton
CheckedTextView AppCompatCheckedTextView
RadioButton AppCompatRadioButton
CheckBox AppCompatCheckBox
AutoCompleteTextView AppCompatAutoCompleteTextView
MultiAutoCompleteTextView AppCompatMultiAutoCompleteTextView

Add custom views for apps without AppCompat

If your app doesn't use AppCompat, use the view integration helpers in the emoji2-views-helper module that are designed for use in custom views. These are the helpers that the AppCompat library uses to implement emoji support.

Complete the following steps to support custom views for apps that don't use AppCompat.

  1. Add the emoji2-views-helper library:

    implementation "androidx.emoji2:emoji2-views-helper:$emojiVersion"
  2. Follow the instructions to include EmojiTextViewHelper or EmojiEditTextHelper in your app's custom views.

  3. Test your integration by launching your app on a device running Android 10 or lower and displaying the following test string. Make sure all characters render correctly.

    • 14.0: 🫠, 🫱🏼‍🫲🏿, 🫰🏽
    • 13.1: 😶‍🌫️, 🧔🏻‍♀️, 🧑🏿‍❤️‍🧑🏾
    • 13.0: 🥲, 🥷🏿, 🐻‍❄️
    • 12.1: 🧑🏻‍🦰, 🧑🏿‍🦯, 👩🏻‍🤝‍👩🏼
    • 12.0: 🦩, 🦻🏿, 👩🏼‍🤝‍👩🏻

Optional features for handling emoji2

After you include the emoji2 library in your app, you can add the optional features that are described in this section.

Configure emoji2 to use a different font or downloadable font provider

To configure emoji2 to use a different font or downloadable font provider, do the following:

  1. Disable the EmojiCompatInitializer by adding the following to your manifest:

    <meta-data android:name="androidx.emoji2.text.EmojiCompatInitializer"
               tools:node="remove" />
  2. Do one of the following:

Modify your EmojiCompat behavior

You can use an instance of EmojiCompat.Config to modify EmojiCompat behavior.

The most important configuration option is setMetadataLoadStrategy(), which controls when EmojiCompat loads the font. Font loading begins as soon as EmojiCompat.load() is called, and this triggers any necessary downloads. The system creates a thread for font downloading unless your app provides one.

LOAD_STRATEGY_MANUAL lets you control when EmojiCompat.load() is called, and LOAD_STRATEGY_DEFAULT makes loading start synchronously in the call to EmojiCompat.init().

Most apps use LOAD_STRATEGY_MANUAL so they can control the thread and timing of font loading. Your app must defer until after the first screen displays to avoid introducing startup latency. EmojiCompatInitializer follows this practice and defers loading the emoji font until after the first screen resumes.

Use the following methods from the base class to set other aspects of the configuration:

  • setReplaceAll(): determines whether EmojiCompat replaces all emoji it finds with instances of EmojiSpan. By default, when EmojiCompat infers that the system can render an emoji, it doesn't replace that emoji. When set to true, EmojiCompat replaces all emoji with EmojiSpan objects.
  • setEmojiSpanIndicatorEnabled(): indicates whether EmojiCompat replaces an emoji with an EmojiSpan object. When set to true, EmojiCompat draws a background for the EmojiSpan. This method is mainly used for debugging purposes.
  • setEmojiSpanIndicatorColor: sets the color to indicate an EmojiSpan. The default value is GREEN.
  • registerInitCallback(): informs an app about the state of the EmojiCompat initialization.

Add initialization listeners

EmojiCompat and EmojiCompat.Config classes provide the registerInitCallback() and unregisterInitCallback() methods to register and unregister initialization callbacks. Your app uses these callbacks to wait until EmojiCompat is initialized before you process emoji on a background thread or in a custom view.

To use these methods, create an instance of the EmojiCompat.InitCallback class. Call these methods and pass in the instance of the EmojiCompat.InitCallback class. When the initialization is successful, the EmojiCompat class calls the onInitialized() method. If the library fails to initialize, the EmojiCompat class calls the onFailed() method.

To check the initialization state at any point, call the getLoadState() method. This method returns one of the following values: LOAD_STATE_LOADING, LOAD_STATE_SUCCEEDED, or LOAD_STATE_FAILED.

Support bundled fonts with emoji2

You can use the emoji2-bundled artifact to bundle an emoji font into your app. However, because the NotoColorEmoji font is over 10 MB, we strongly recommend that your app use downloadable fonts when possible. The emoji2-bundled artifact is intended for apps on devices that don't support downloadable fonts.

To use the emoji2-bundled artifact, do the following:

  1. Include emoji2-bundled and emoji2 artifacts:

    implementation "androidx.emoji2:emoji2:$emojiVersion"
    implementation "androidx.emoji2:emoji2-bundled:$emojiVersion"
  2. Configure emoji2 to use the bundled configuration:




    EmojiCompat.init(new BundledEmojiCompatConfig(context));
  3. Test the integration by following the preceding steps for including emojicompat with or without AppCompat. Make sure the test string displays correctly.

    • 14.0: 🫠, 🫱🏼‍🫲🏿, 🫰🏽
    • 13.1: 😶‍🌫️, 🧔🏻‍♀️, 🧑🏿‍❤️‍🧑🏾
    • 13.0: 🥲, 🥷🏿, 🐻‍❄️
    • 12.1: 🧑🏻‍🦰, 🧑🏿‍🦯, 👩🏻‍🤝‍👩🏼
    • 12.0: 🦩, 🦻🏿, 👩🏼‍🤝‍👩🏻

Impact of automatic EmojiCompat configuration

The system applies default configuration using the startup library, EmojiCompatInitializer, and DefaultEmojiCompatConfig.

After the first activity resumes in your app, the initializer schedules emoji font loading. This brief delay lets your app display its initial content without any potential latency due to font loading in a background thread.

DefaultEmojiCompatConfig looks for a system-installed downloadable font provider that implements the EmojiCompat interface, such as Google Play services. On devices powered by Google Play services, this loads the font using Google Play services.

The initializer creates a background thread to load the emoji font, and font download can take up to 10 seconds before timing out. After the font is downloaded, it takes approximately 150 milliseconds on a background thread to initialize EmojiCompat.

Defer the initialization of EmojiCompat, even if you disable EmojiCompatInitializer. If you manually configure EmojiCompat, call EmojiCompat.load() after it displays the first screen of your app to avoid background contention with the first screen load.

After loading, EmojiCompat uses about 300 KB of RAM to hold the emoji metadata.