Android fonts and emojis can be unlinked from future system updates, with the change already taking effect on Android 12, according to some public information from Google.

Currently, writing formats such as fonts and emojis are linked to the system partition of the Android, which forces Google to update them only when a new version of the operating system becomes available. Considering how each manufacturer has its own update time, some people may receive changes and writing corrections well before, or much later.

fonts and emojis
Today, emojis rely on a system update on Android to be fixed or renewed, but a change in Android 12 can leave them independent. Image: stas11 / Shutterstock

According to a public listing of goals for Android 12, Google intends to change this detail, removing the fonts and emojis from the systemic partition and placing everything on the data partition. Thus, whenever the Unicode Consortium - the authority that defines digital sources and creates emojis - launches new packages, they can be updated on Android separately from the system.

This listing has been available on the public Android page since November 2020, but only now have they been made official:

“Set up / data / fonts directory for updatable system fonts

- / data / fonts / files The updated font files are placed this directory. This files under this directory are readable by any apps. Only system_server can write font files to this directory.

- / data / fonts / config The font configuration used by system_server is stored in this directory. Only system_server can read / write this directory. ”

Above, for example, we see in the first two lines the change of sources to “Data” (Data) instead of “System” (System). In the third line, a security measure is placed, which governs that only the server can write or overwrite font files. This is to prevent bad actors - hackers, intruders and others - from breaking your Android device's forms of writing.

“Add / data / fonts / files directory The updated font files will be stored to / data / fonts / files and all application will read it for drawing text. Thus, / data / fonts / files needs to be readable by apps and only writable by system_server (and init) ”

Here, we have a greater detail, highlighting the change of folder of storage of fonts and emojis, as well as the order that the files in this folder can be “read” by any application, but only changed by the system partition.

“Add tests for permission of / data / fonts / files”

Finally, an order that lists tests to be carried out within the new folder, to ensure that everything goes smoothly.

Considering that the project pages refer specifically to Android 12, we can expect that the next version of the operating system already has such changes. It is the type of change that the casual user will not notice, but that has considerable consequences.

Google has not yet commented on the information. Android 12 is not yet due to arrive, but if Google’s calendar remains consistent, the new version of the mobile operating system is expected to arrive in mid-2022, with three to five test versions before that.

Source: Android Project (1) (2) (3)