How to enable more emoticons on your iPhone and iPad

I foresee a future where the need for the alphabet will be a relic of the past. Emojis and emoticons have moved beyond their humble beginnings and have become a part of everyday communications between people and even brands. While we showed Star Trek fans how to get their Spock emoji before its release in iOS 9, there is one thing we did not show you guys just yet. There is a little known, keyboard that you can enable right now to get even more emoticons on your iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Let’s check it out. 

How to enable the emoticon keyboard on your iPhone and iPad

Emojis and emoticons have Japanese origins, so it should be no surprise that the hidden keyboard can be found under that Language. These emoticons will not have all the bells and whistles of the built-in emoji keyboard for iOS 9, but keeps its core roots, while adding a nice old-school flair to your texts. Here’s how to enable it:

Step 1.

Go to Settings -> General – Keyboards -> Keyboards. In the Keyboards section tap, Add New Keyboard. 

Add keyboard

Step 2.

In the “Add New Keyboard” section, scroll down until you see Japanese among the large list of languages. Tap to open the Japanese keyboard options and select Romaji.

Japanese - Keyboard

Step 3.

Now that we have the new keyboard enabled, you need to test it out. Open up Notes or Messages or any app that you can use the keyboard in. With the keyboard open, tap and hold the globe icon and select Romaji from the list.

Globe - Keyboard

Step 4.

Now that you have the Romaji keyboard activated, tap the 123 button, followed by the the icon that looks like a smiley face ^_^. 

Romaji

Step 5.

When you hit that button you will see a few of these new emoticons appear in the suggestions field. You can scroll to the left to pick the ones you like.

Scroll - emoticons

Step 6.

If you want to see all of your options, and there are a ton, hit the up arrow key to reveal the entire list of emoticons.

emoticons - expanded

These emoticons are cool in their own right, and make for a nice departure from the Emojis that so many of us have been using these past few years. So, if you want to expand your emoji/emoticon vocabulary, then make sure to add the Romaji keyboard in Settings -> General – Keyboards -> Keyboards -> Add New Keyboard -> Japanese -> Romaji. 

Make sure to share you favorites faces in the comment section.

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