TextFaces review: add Unicode faces to your keyboard

TextFaces 3

In early November, we told you about a fun little jailbreak tweak that makes it possible for you to add Unicode faces to your keyboard so you don’t have to be like everyone else with those silly yellow smiley faces.

The tweak’s developer, Neo Ighodaro told us that, thanks to our coverage of Unicode Faces, he figured that it would be a good idea to turn it into an official App Store app rebranded as TextFaces. We took it for a test spin on a non-jailbroken device and have a review of TextFaces for you today.


I have a friend, he’s in IT, and he hates cartoon emoji. He uses Unicode symbols to express his emotions instead. He’s not alone. Unicode symbols have become a very popular way for Internet personalities to share their thoughts. Just take a look at practically any comment section and you’ll see a wide variety of them.


This app turns your keyboard into a scrollable list of Unicode faces. You can switch between all faces and your favorites. You can also delete characters (although the delete key doesn’t work well) and quickly switch back to your favorite keyboard using the global symbol on the left side.

TextFaces 2

App Use

Did your buddy just say something that made you rage? Want to send a bunch of characters that expresses your anger? Why not send a unicode of a guy flipping over a table?

Oh, that’s because you’d have to copy and paste that snippet from somewhere. If you’ve been unicode faces planting for a while, you’ve probably got an easy way to access your characters. But, if you are new to the game, you can use TextFaces right in your iPhone’s keyboard.

Add TextFaces to your third-party keyboard list and allow full access. Then, tap the keyboard switcher icon on your keyboard to call up the funny faces. Tap on a face and it will automatically appear in whatever communication form you are currently in.

You can express your emotions using unicode characters in chat windows like Hangouts and Messenger, send them in email, or text them to friends. You can even use them in email and the Safari search bar. Anywhere you can enter text, you can add a TextFace.

You can select from your favorites by opening the app and selecting Manage TextFaces. Here you can pick favorites, delete ones you don’t like, and reorganize them.

Visit the “Suggested TextFaces” page to add additional faces that have been recommended by the community. That’s where I found my favorite symbol unicode face: m/(>.<)m/

TextFaces 1

The Good

It is really easy to get in and out of TextFaces. So, if you just want to tag a funny face in the middle of your sentence, it is just as easy as accessing Apple’s emoji faces.

The Bad

The delete key just does not work. It either doesn’t delete a symbol, or it deletes too many of them at once. Don’t use it. It will just frustrate you. Switch back to your regular keyboard instead.

I’d love to be able to add my own symbol unicode faces to this app. There are hundreds of them out there. Hopefully, at least the Suggested TextFaces section will be regularly updated.


TextFaces is $0.99.


The next time you try to relay your feelings though text, try using TextFaces. You might find a more accurate representation of your current emotional state. Download it in the App Store today.

What do you think of this third-party keyboard app? Let us know in the comments below.