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Google and Apple brought the emoji arms race to the Grammys

Google and Apple brought the emoji arms race to the Grammys

And the mobile phone wars just continue to evolve. What has traditionally been a hardware fight–which looked coolest, had a bigger screen, a better camera, more cameras, a better battery–took a turn toward the software front last night during the 2019 Grammy Awards.

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Both Google and Apple dropped new ads for their playmoji and memoji products, respectively. That’s right, people, the emoji arms race is here.

The first out of the gate was Google with its Childish Gambino playmoji for the Pixel 3, featuring an elaborate product demo in the form of a dance-off between an animated Donald Glover and the man himself, all to his own tune “Human Sacrifice.”

Next up was Apple’s memoji spot starring an emojified Ariana Grande and her hit song “7 Rings,” as the pop star’s animated head was surrounded by a gaggle of pricey, dancing baubles.

So which one is better? The edge in this one battle goes to Google, for two reasons: First, the Childish Gambino playmoji can be dropped AR-style into your own photos and videos, just as it appears in the ad. As Google wrote in a blog post about the feature, “He even reacts to your facial expressions in real time thanks to machine learning.” While Apple’s memoji are fun, there’s a disclaimer at the end of the Grande ad stating it was professionally animated. Translation: Probably not happening on your phone. The other reason Google won this Grammys showdown? Its not-so subtle dig at its rival by poaching Glover, whose song “Redbone” appeared in Apple’s animoji Grammys ad last year.

Oh, and of course “Redbone” is a part of Google’s Childish Gambino playmoji pack. Your move, Apple.

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