Some Android O apps will display incoming emoji, even if your device doesn't support them yet
Android users will no longer be able to blame emoji for misunderstood texts. Developers working on updating their apps for the upcoming Android O release can now build in support for "emoji compatibility," which will prevent emoji from showing up as blank boxes when a user isn't running the most current version of Android with updated characters. They'll instead display the emoji through the support library. Google published a piece on how people can incorporate this feature into their apps. Although developers will ultimately choose whether they want to include this feature, it'll likely be beneficial for them, especially if they plan to use new emoji inside their app.
It isn't clear whether emoji compatibility is coming to Google's own messaging apps, which would be crucial for this news to matter. Most of us are probably messaging within the phone's built-in messaging app, and that's likely where we encounter most missing emoji. (Thanks, iPhone friends.) We also don't know what these emoji look like just yet. Will apps populate with Samsung's idea of emoji or with Apple's? I guess we'll find out when Android O is eventually out, although signs seem to be pointing to a late-August public release.