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How to use emoji on iPhone or Android

Too busy to use whole words? Let emojis do the talking for you.

Sometimes words aren't enough and you need the perfect emoji to convey what you really mean. And sometimes they're just weird punctuation in an otherwise normal sentence. Either way, they can come in handy.

In the dim dark ages a few years back, you might have needed a third-party keyboard to get the emoji goodness your conversations so desperately required but these days it's all built-in and easy to use.

Apple iOS: iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch emojis

When you see your keyboard on an iOS device you can just press the Smiling Face key and you'll switch from alpha-numeric characters to the world of emojis.

The grey icons at the bottom will take you through the various thematic groupings of emojis: facial expressions, animals, fruit and veg, activities, world flags and so much more. The clock icon is how you can quickly access your recently-used emojis if you want to make sure your personal brand stays on track.

On iOS devices, you'll also find emojis cropping us as predictive text options. Type "sounds good" for example and you might see a "thumb up" emoji as a prediction option.

Finally words in your message might appear as orange. This lets you know that you can replace them with an emoji just by touching the word.

If you can't see the emoji keyboard at all, make sure it's turned on. Go to "Settings", then "General", then "Keyboard".

  • Tap "Keyboards".
  • Tap "Add New Keyboard".
  • Tap "Emoji".

Google Android phones & tablets: Emojis

Android, of course, allows you to use third-party keyboards. These are all a little different but the system should be similar to how you find emojis on Gboard, the official Android keyboard.

When Gboard is open, look for the Smiling Face beside the space button. Tap it and, tah-dah! You've got emojis.

They're grouped together in the same style as Apple and you use the grey icons to move between themes.

Gboard will suggest emojis as you type and you'll see a "search emoji" bar above your emoji keyboard. Tap it and you'll go back to an alpha-numeric pad, but as you type it will show a list of emojis relating to your search.

It's all that easy: now get out there and ensure elderly relatives remain clueless about what you're trying to say.

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Nic Healey

Nic Healey has over 20-years' experience talking about tech and gaming, whether that's in print, online or even on radio and in podcasts. When not working he spends to much time posting photos of his cat.

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