How to get iPhone's emoticon keyboard: Enable the secret smileys hiding inside of your phone

Emoticons came before emoji, and are in many ways easier and more fun to use

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The Independent Tech

There’s a secret, extra emoticon keyboard hiding in your iPhone.

Most people will have the emoji keyboard installed. But there’s a whole other keyboard, holding little pictures like this: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

The keyboard can be easily added to any iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, and holds a whole set of little pictures.

The new keyboard is found by heading into the Settings app. There, choose General, then Keyboard, pick Keyboards and select Add New Keyboard.

To find the emoticon option, scroll down to Japanese from the available keyboard languages. There, you can choose the Kana keyboard, which has the picture in it.

It can be accessed by clicking on the small globe. If you’ve not got any alternative keyboards, such as emoji, already enabled then that should have appeared; if you have, then you can click through to find the other keyboards in the same way that you normally do.

Find the right keyboard and wait. A second later a little emoticon face should show up — looking like this: ^_^ — click that, and then click on the up arrow. You’ll then have access to all of the different emoticons.

Once that’s all done, the keyboard should be enabled in any app that you use the keyboard.

(If you don’t have the emoji keyboard and would like it, it’s enabled in the same way as above, but you choose emoji where you selected Japanese.)

Emojis explained

Emoticons have an advantage on emoji in that they are made up of usual text characters. That means that they should show up on almost any computer — even if it’s very old — and will look the same to everyone who sees them.

It is of course possible to create your own emoticons, if a little difficult. And they can also be copy and pasted more easily than emoji, meaning that any emoticons you see can be moved easily into another message or other text box.

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