The latest 2.2 firmware update allows Japanese iPhone owners to use Emoji icons in their emails and text messages, but for some reason, the rest of the world cannot enjoy these useless, yet funny icons…

That was until Irish developer Steve Troughton-Smith found a simple hack to allow everyone to use Emoji icons, not mater what carrier you’re on. Here are the instructions:

You need to edit the file /User/Library/Preferences/ on the device -> whether you use a jailbreak to achieve this or merely some iTunes backup editor is up to you.

Add the following boolean key as ‘true’:


Then merely go to the Keyboards section of the Settings app, hit Japanese, and turn on Emoji. Will work for any text field/view in the OS, including on websites, AND including the titles of items on SpringBoard (e.g. if you save a bookmark to the home screen).

Easy enough 🙂

UPDATE: I just published this post and went back to my news reader to realize there is now an app available on Cydia that allows emoji incons with no editing required!

Install the package called Emoji, then go to Settings > General > Keyboard > International Keyboard > Japanase and enable Emoji Icons. Now launch your mail or note app and try it out! By the way, this only works on 2.2, so if like me, you’re still on 2.1, it won’t work.

  • Clay

    I’m not sure why Apple developed Emoji ONLY for the Japanese. I thought we were ALL going to get it! That’s the least they can do for “pushing” back push notifications and cut/paste.

  • salar

    Nice…:) I always wanted emotions lol

  • What’s an iTunes backup editor?

  • @Clay – it’s a basic text editor


  • lojack

    Will this work by editing the plist file in XP and a non jailbroke iphone?

  • Diamond

    where would I find a iTunes backup editor?

  • Diamond

    where would I find a iTunes backup editor?

  • How do you put cydia on iPhone i have search about 7 hours someone can help my