Up until now, the only way to get Emoji icons on your iPhone or iPad was to employ some workaround that either required a jailbreak or an app from the App Store.

Workarounds are great, but native solutions are even better. iOS 5 has made this much easier since it is now letting you use an Emoji icon keyboard on a stock iDevice. No jailbreak and no download required…

To activate your Emoji keyboard, go to Settings > General > Keyboard > International Keyboards > Add New Keyboard > Emoji.

Now when you want to use Emoji, simply hit the little “globe” icon on your keyboard and it will bring up your Emoji icons. From there, you can choose from several Emoji categories.

Note that Emoji icons are not cross platform, which means that you can only use them between iOS devices. If you send an email with Emoji to someone who doesn’t read that email on an iPhone or iPad, this person won’t be able to see the icons.

    • Tried using Emoji in comment but didn’t work. Thanks.

      • It will only work if you email or text someone who has an iPhone/iPad.

      • Are you that stupid? If you actually read the article you would have seen this statement at the bottom.

        ‘Note that Emoji icons are not cross platform, which means that you can only use them between iOS devices. If you send an email with Emoji to someone who doesn’t read that email on an iPhone or iPad, this person won’t be able to see the icons.’

      • JoBerlin

        I guess geekinit wanted to check out if it works when you put emoji in comment on an iDevice and then view it on an iDevice. It still is iDevice -> iDevice but it doesn’t work.
        IMHO plain text smiley faces are easier to type because you don’t need a special keyboard and they are platform independent.

    • Ivette


  • Arnie

    Ummm my iPhone has never been jail broken and I’ve been able to do this since I had 4.2.1

    • McFlossy


  • Rich

    It’s Sad that they won’t do it cross platform. As odd as it may sound, not everyone has an iphone, in fact majority of the people in my address book have either a black berry or an Android phone. Black berry uses weird symbols to make their emoticons, but atleast a regular smiley face will come in as ” 🙂 ” and same with android. But if I send one back it will just be a box. That’s one thing I don’t like about iOS, everything is so simple, except the most simplest of things like emoticons.

  • drbyers

    Um, how do you remove the umoji keyboard after you’ve installed it?

    • Rich

      Settings > General > Keyboard > Internationa Keyboards > Edit > The red circle with the white line > Delete

      • drbyers

        Thanks. That was easy. lol

  • Abdullah

    I think t would also work on blackberries since they also have emoji..I this true?

    • Rich

      Nope. Any other phones it comes in as a empty box. It only appears on iOS Devices. Android has emoticons also, but iOS had to use some funky coding so it wouldn’t be compatable with other devices.

  • troll69

    Look at the time in the photograph, its 9/11!!! ARGH THE END!!!!!!!!!

    • Ushsshi

      Wow, lol!!!

  • Nico

    I use emoji in my iPhone and with whatsapp works when I send Messages to Andriod users

    • Rich

      Emoji in Whatsapp is built into the app it’s self, same with kik, and Live Profile. In a regular text message, they won’t see the emoticon

  • Ron

    Works great on my 4s, thank u

  • timmy

    Doesn’t work on Beluga and many other cross platform apps. Way to try and reinvent the wheel apple. your unique iOS5 emoji coding has failed. Please revert to previous coding and release update. Thanks

  • kokhean

    Emoji is already activated in iOS 5, that’s why.

  • zigen

    This keybord is common functionality in Japan.
    You also find Japanese keybord have KAOMOJI(ex.(・∀・)) key!

  • ic0dex

    People are so retarded they actually pay for emoji icons from the AppStore when they are free.

  • Bababooey13

    And I knew these idiots would remove my comments! Lmfao! This is because I’m more educated on the mater of, well, ANYTHING iPhone related!!!!! You punk cry babies! Lol! You know I’m right. Good job shutting someone up that actually knows something about this stuff! Oh, and they deleted the guy that comment below mine that simply said “Amen” so it WASN’T just my language! Up yours!

  • Colleen

    I had emoji until I upgraded, it is still on phone but when I send it, and yes to another iPhone it doesn’t work.

    • Pdarz

      I had the same issue. When I send a message to my gfs 3gs with older OS it doesn’t pick up the emoticons anymore.

  • Rookii

    Works perfectly on ios – android on whatsapp / pingchat 🙂

    • John

      I am having the same problem.

  • John

    I also upgraded to ios 5. Emoji no longer works sending to my girls iPhone with older os. I can’t receive from her either. Can this be remedied without her upgrading?

  • Andy

    It’s a little bit cross platform for text messages with some work. If the person you’re sending it to uses Android, he/she can see it if they use Chomp SMS instead of handcent or stock SMS, and also install the Chomp Emoji plugin. Other app developers just need to update compatibility to support iOS 5. If you’re on iOS 4, then you’re out of luck.

  • bebbyjazz_eci

    I need information how to unlock the new emoji in iOS 5. I already have the previous emoji, when i jail broken my iPad . After, I changed my iOS, I’m not jail break it anymore.