WhatsApp’s latest beta gets with the times, adds new Unicode 14 emoji

Everybody likes new emoji, and we’m lucky enough to get new ones on a roughly yearly basis. With Unicode 14, introduced in Android 12L and iOS 15.4, we’re getting a total of 37 brand-new reactions that will allow us to better express ourselves better in this beautiful, sometimes-confusing picture-language. It’s only logical that the biggest instant messaging app in the world should get them too, and now WhatsApp is giving users that chance in its latest beta.


Version 2.22.8.8 of the WhatsApp client adds Unicode 14 emoji, including the melting face, biting lips, and many more, as spotted by WABetaInfo. A lot of those also come with their own separate skin tone and gender options, and the release also includes new variants of existing emoji – pregnant dude, anyone? It’s a minor update compared to previous Unicode releases (version 13 added 55 all-new emoji, and release 12 brought 61 of its own) but there are at least some emoji here that seem likely to enter regular use – check out the saluting face or the dotted-line one.

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Arguably, WhatsApp adding these is perhaps even more important than either Android or iOS doing so, at least in terms of the number of people they’ll reach – emoji in WhatsApp on Android are version-agnostic, meaning you should see them even if you ‘re running an older Android release without them baked in. Given how fragmentation in Android is still a problem well into 2022 (most people are currently running Android 10), this is well appreciated, as it’ll ensure a lot of people will be able to use them regardless of whether they’re running the latest Android version or not.

Of course, this is still a beta release, and if all you want are the new emoji, you might want to think about waiting for stable. If you’re feeling impatient, though, go ahead and grab it from the Google Play Store or download through APKMirror.


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