How to Add the Emoji Keyboard to the iPhone

The use of emoticons is on the rise as more users turn to texting and iMessaging to stay in touch. Emoticons started out as a simple :) to convey emotion, and evolved into more detailed pictures known as emoji.

iPhone users benefit the most from emoji as they have a keyboard that is entirely dedicated to it. With a few easy steps this keyboard can be enabled so that texting conversations between iPhones, iPads and iPods are a little more interesting.

Using the Emoji keyboard is a fun way to liven up a conversation or get a laugh out of a friend.

How to Enable the Emoji Keyboard

Tap Settings.


Tap General.


Scroll down and select Tap Keyboard.



Tap Keyboards.


Then Tap Add New Keyboard.


New Keyboard

Scroll Down and Select Emoji.


Once complete the keyboard screen should appear in the list of keyboards.

All KeyboardsIn addition to the keyboard that the user uses as their default language the emoji keyboard is also added to this list. It is important to note that this same process can be used to add a keyboard of another language to the iPhone. This may be convenient while traveling, or also if a user is fluent in several languages.

How to Use the iPhone Emoji Keyboard

Once the keyboard has been added the only step left is to switch from English to Emoji while in a conversation.

When the Messages application is open the keyboard will display like so.

Default layout

Notice how the space bar has decreased in size to make room for the International button on the bottom row. To switch to the Emoji keyboard Tap the International button that is highlighted above. 

Emoji love

This switches to the Emoji keyboard. This keyboard offers six categories of Emoji, and multiple screens in each category. Tap on an icon in the bottom row to change categories and swipe in the three rows of icons to see more Emoji.

Users can combine emoji to create small characters as shown below.

Emoji Advanced

An example of advanced Emoji use.

To switch back to the standard keyboard, tap on the international symbol again.

Emoji is a fun way to spice up conversation but it does have some limits. When sent between iPods, iPads and iPhones the emoji will always be displayed. But if an iPhone user sends these emoji to android, regular phones, or even some websites, like Facebook, they may not display at all.

Also check out How to connect Facebook with iOS 6 and How to get YouTube back in iOS 6.