Trick to Enable Japanese Emoji Icons on your iPhone; No Jailbreaking Required


iPhone Firmware 2.2 - Emoji icons

iPhone firmware 2.2 gave iPhone users the ability to create and view messages with Emoji icons. But it was available only to iPhone users on Japan’s SoftBank network.

There are couple of ways to enable it: use the hack that an iPhone developer had figured out or install Emoji app via Cydia. But both these solutions needed a jailbroken iPhone.

Folks at Winandmac have figured out another trick to achieve this without the need to hack your iPhone.

The trick makes use of a technique where you need to import 27 address book contacts to your iPhone, and recall it using the Japanese keyboard just like the hack which teaches your iPhone to swear.

To enable emoji icons on your iPhone, follow these instructions:

Step 1. Download the vcard.vcf here.

Step 2. Import it to your address book program. If you are using
Windows, you may want to do it on iPhone directly. Send the vcard.vcf
file to yourself. Open in on iPhone’s Email.app, click the vcf file and
import all the contacts.

Step 3. Go into “Settings” > “General” > “Keyboard” > “Japanese Keyboard”. Enable the QWERTY keyboard.

Step 4. In notes or any other program you want. Type “emojia”, “emojii” or “emojiu” to select those :) icons.

I still prefer the solution of installing Emoji app via Cydia which needs a jailbroken iPhone as I don’t like the idea of clutterring my address book with unnecessary contacts.

However, if you are not in Japan and want to use emoji icons on your iPhone but vary about hacking your iPhone then this is the only option available.

As always, let us know how it goes in the comments below.

[via Winandmac]




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  • MARIO

    Very cool. After install I realized that this is is a little bit useless as emojicons are only viewable on iPhone so sending an icon to an email address will only display symbols like this �J.
    I would love to see apple giving us that feature but this time fully supported on emails and text messaging.

  • naeco

    One thing though…

    How do you run vcard file in iPhone with Mail app? (in Windows of course). I can not copy the .vcf file to iPhone via iTunes because it's not a multimedia file.

  • KAR

    I have windows mobile so i tried the email way and I only got one contact. I saved it & tried it & it didnt work. Am I doing anything wrong? I followed all the steps…please help this would be really cool for my phone!! BTW, it is not jailbroken!

  • PH

    I just sent the vcf as a gmail attatchemnt and opened it in the iphone. Then I added the new contacts. I can see the images in my contacts which are all gathered neatly at the bottom of contacts list – but step 4 – has me stumped. How do you insert them again by typing the word emojia?

  • poduser

    you have to first enable the japanese keyboard and its querty to get the emojia icons. it worked 4 me.

  • omg. iie dont get any of this. someone explain. what do yooh do on da fiirst step ? it doesnt open on miie iphone. by da way its not a 3g.

  • Tim G

    It worked! Sorta…

    The emojiis only show up in groups of 20 or so. Is there a way to fix that, or is that just how it has to be?

    Thanks for this!

  • Tim G

    Really, it gets old having to delete the other 19.

  • QeuDee @ iPhoneInfo.se

    go to itunes and get a free app called "spell number"
    To enable Emoji icons using the Spell Number app do this:
    Open the Spell Number app on your iPhone
    Enter 9876543.21 and then just hit the home button
    Edit Settings > General > Keyboard > International Keyboards > Japanese > Slide “Emoji” to ON
    Open the Text message app and tap the World Icon to see Emoji icons when you are typing a text message

  • Tim G

    Use QeuDee's method!
    Except I used 9192934.59

  • GX

    This method works. I'm INNNNNN! 😀

  • If there is a free app on iTunes that you can use to unlock them also.
    Posted instruction on my blog at the link below for anyone that wants to try. I've already done it on my phone (non-jail broken) so I know it works.

    http://techieluv.blogspot.com/2009/04/unlock-iemoji-for-free.html