Social Media, Startup News & Analysis

Google chief executive Sundar Pichai pledges to “drop everything” to fix critical burger emoji flaw

Dominic Powell /

There are few things in the smartphone world more contentious than emoji design, with frequent wars waged by Android and iOS devotees over the “best” or “right” way to depict a small picture of a champagne glass — or a variety of other drinks and food products.

And it turns out, even the chief executives of influential tech giants aren’t exempt from being pulled into the melee, with a viral tweet from Sunday sparking a heated online discussion that forced Google chief executive Sundar Pichai to make some swift and drastic changes.

The tweet showed a simple comparison between Apple’s emoji for a cheeseburger, and Google’s.

To the untrained eye, the transgression may not be obvious, but as tweeter Thomas Baekdal points out, the placement of the cheese in Google’s emoji is simply unacceptable for any burger connoisseur.

Putting the cheese directly below the hot burger patty and right above the volatile bun is a recipe for not just a soggy burger, but a culinary disaster. Also, the lettuce being at the top of the burger isn’t doing anyone any favours either.

Apple’s sensible lettuce-patty-cheese arrangement covers all bases, with the cheese melting onto the patty whilst the lettuce protects the bun below from oversaturation.

(The inclusion of tomato on both emojis is another matter altogether — one which has gotten alarmingly little coverage.)

Thankfully, Pichai recognised the fromage foible quickly, issuing a tweet saying the company will “drop everything else we are doing and address on Monday”, as long as everyone could agree on the correct cheese placement.

Pichai and Baekdal’s tweets have received thousands of responses from regular punters and even some Google employees, either defending of assaulting the company’s emoji. Some even dragged other companies such as Samsung and HTC into the fray as a point of comparison.

As of yet, the hamburger emoji does not appear to have been changed, suggesting an internal power struggle between Googlers could be underway. However, the situation has also bought into question some of Google’s other emoji choices, including this questionable representation of a pint of beer.

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Dominic Powell

Dominic Powell is a journalist at StartupSmart and a tech and music geek. When he’s not writing, you can find him reading or browsing record shops.

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