Thanks so much for all your hard work. Manually pasted your ttf file, backed up/uninstalled Play installed G-board and sideloaded your mod. English UK by default and gesture typing is golden!
Your directions are coincise, very clever and spot on. Thanks! Admittedly, I left the ttf file unchanged - as named in the OP - thinking I could sucker an extra pallet of emoji out of the experiment. When I rebooted and noted I would need to apply your assist, I opened the first XML to find NotoColorEmoji was nowhere on the list. Reading the XML #info I clearly understood why this happened. No problem. I added the missing lines to both XML, backed out and renamed the Apple-moji file correctly so it could be properly referenced as required upon reboot and all is well.
Thanks again. You guys are warriors! At first, I didn't know for sure whether I wanted iOS anything on my N6 Lol Always looking for some sweet mod though and I saw the threads about new emoji support on the XDA portal some days ago. Finally got round to tinkering. Have to say, this emoji set is superior.
Would you like 🍟 with that? 🤗
**Big thanks to @DespairFactor
as well. All of you, WARRIORS!