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.