Text messages and messaging apps are fantastic, but plain old text can sometimes fail to get an emotion across properly — and that’s where emojis come in. While picking specific emojis is something of a generational minefield, with younger folks considering older peoples’ choices cringey to the extreme, there’s no doubt that slotting a little emoji onto the end of a message can help to clarify your meaning. Since they were launched in the late 1990s, these ideograms, smiley faces, and emoticons have helped us to express ourselves for decades.
Emojis are a must-have for any smartphone, and thankfully, there’s an almost limitless supply. No matter what you want to express, there’s an emoji for you. If there isn’t? Hang tight, more are added every single year, giving you even more options. There are even ways to get new emojis through keyboards, or you can create your own mixed emojis through the Emoji Kitchen if you have an Android phone. Here’s the quick and easy guide on how to add new emojis to your iPhone or Android phone.
The easiest way to get new emojis is to wait for them to land via a software update on your iPhone. Most of the time, software updates arrive without you needing to do anything, but just in case you want to kick-start an update, or check to see if one is available, here’s what you have to do.
Step 1: Head to your Settings app.
Step 2: Select General > Software update.
Step 3: Wait while the system checks for updates.
Step 4: If one is available, choose Download and install to get the update moving.
If you’re using an Android phone, then you’ll often get new updates through software updates too.
Step 1: Open your Settings app.
Step 2: Select System > System update.
Step 3: If there’s an update available, you can download and install it from here.
Step 4: Once installed, if there are any new emojis available, they will be on your phone.
Software updates aren’t the only way to get new emojis. Google’s Gboard keyboard does something interesting with emojis. It doesn’t add new emojis; instead, it remixes existing ones. Ever wanted a ghost emoji with dollar-sign eyes? Or an alien spaceship with love hearts above it? Probably not, but admit it, you’re now thinking about ways you’d use that, aren’t you?
It all takes place in Gboard, and is only available on Android phones. If you’re using a Google Pixel smartphone, you probably already have it, but you may need to switch it on. We’ll show you how to turn the feature on and how it works. Make sure to download and enable Gboard before starting this process.
Step 1: Open a messaging app of your choice and tap a text field to open your keyboard.
Step 2: Select the Options button in the top-left and then choose Settings.
Step 3: Select Emojis, stickers and GIFs.
Step 4: Make sure Emoji stickers is turned on.
Step 5: Head back to your messaging app, and select an emoji from the Emoji category.
Step 6: When it appears in your text box, Gboard will create some remixed emojis based on that initial emoji.
Step 7: Choose one to send it as a sticker.
Emojis are available on both iPhone and Android now, so there’s no need to download a new keyboard just to get emojis. However, you can download some apps, which will give you more emojis to play with, as well as some other bonuses.
Bitmoji (also available on Android) is perfect if you want to create personalized emojis. Just download it and you can create your very own Bitmoji version of yourself, which will pose in a number of different ways, adding a personal twist on classic emojis.
There are other options out there, but be aware that downloading a completely strange keyboard can be a dangerous thing to do. While emojis rarely hurt anyone, key trackers can, and your keyboard knows everything you type. So be careful when it comes to downloading new keyboards for emojis. When in doubt, don’t download it.