There might be no new Android or iOS emoji released in 2021

(Image credit: Google / TechRadar)

Coronavirus has had widespread implications on normal life and one of them - granted a much less important effect than lots of others - is that there might be no new emoji in 2021.

This comes from the Unicode Consortium (UC), the not-for-profit group which decides the emoji released each year. In a news post the UC announced it is to postpone the annual emoji announcement, of all the new icons, from its usual March unveiling back to September 2021.

This means the emoji would be unveiled in 2021, but it's worth pointing out that when the emoji are unveiled, it still takes months for different companies to adapt them for different operating systems like iOS and Android, and this likely means the 2021 emoji will only actually be available on your smartphone in 2022.

For example, in 2019 the UC unveiled its emoji in March, Apple unveiled its versions of them four months later in July, and they were actually available on smartphones as part of iOS 13 two months later in September. 

So, it takes companies roughly six months after the emoji are unveiled to get them to smartphones - six months after September 2021 is March 2022, so after late-2020 with the 2020 emoji, that's when you could next see new emoticons on your smartphone.

We don't know much about this next batch of emoji, since they're still so far out and are usually drenched in mystery before unveiling, but for an idea of what's coming to your phones at the end of 2020, check out our round-up here.

Tom Bedford

Tom Bedford was deputy phones editor on TechRadar until late 2022, having worked his way up from staff writer. Though he specialized in phones and tablets, he also took on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK and now works for the entertainment site What To Watch.

He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working on TechRadar, he freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist.