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Google developing AI Tool for custom emoji & stickers in Pixel 9

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Google could be working on an Android or Pixel equivalent of Apple’s Genmoji, a generative AI feature in iOS 18 that lets you create custom emoji. Code strings found in the latest Android 15 Beta 3 hint at a new Creative Assistant feature that may function similarly. It could debut with the Pixel 9 series this fall. The new Pixels feature the Samsung-made Tensor G4 chipset with improved NPU for AI applications.

Pixel 9 may introduce a generative AI tool to create custom emoji and stickers

Google recently released the third public beta version of Android 15. As usual, it brought a host of user-facing changes and stability improvements. But there are a few additional changes behind the scenes. Reputed Android expert Mishaal Rahman of Android Authority dug into the new Android 15 build to discover code strings related to an unreleased feature called Creative Assistant. He found references to the feature in a Tensor chip TPU binary and the Google Markup app.

Evidence present within the code strings suggests Creative Assistant is a generative AI tool that can remix/create a custom sticker (and emoji) and “paste it onto a screenshot or other image you’re editing.” It could be part of Android’s built-in image editor, though Google may also integrate it into Google Photos. As Rahman notes, the company already integrates its image editing tool into its photo viewer. The sticker/emoji generation will be handled by Creative Assistant everywhere.

Google Pixel Android 15 Vreative Assistant AI tool remix emoji stickerGoogle Pixel Android 15 Vreative Assistant AI tool remix emoji sticker

As things stand, there is no way to tell whether this generative AI feature will work locally on the device or if it will be a cloud-based solution. However, Rahman speculates it could be the former. “Given the smaller size and resolution of stickers, I can see it [on-device emoji/sticker generation] working out,” he wrote explaining the technical tidbits of this discovery. Rahman also found clues suggesting that Creative Assistant will work on the Pixel 8 series, but there’s no solid evidence yet.

The generative AI feature may be exclusive to Pixels

The tool’s package name (com.google.android.apps.pixel.creativeassistant) suggests Creative Assistant will be exclusive to Pixel phones. So, while it may be part of Android 15, non-Google products won’t get it with the next Android update. That said, generative AI is all the rage right now. We won’t be surprised if other firms build a similar feature into their custom Android skin. Samsung is expected to introduce several new AI features with One UI 6.1.1 and One UI 7.0 later this year.

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