I’m a bit ashamed to admit that I fall firmly into the “I like emoticons” camp. I justify it to myself by thinking that it’s difficult to impart some things (like sarcasm, say) through texts, so if I use an appropriately placed emoticon, I’m actually keeping someone from misunderstanding me. Yeah, sure, Melissa. In iOS 5, turning on the preference to allow you to take advantage of the standard Emoji keyboard is really simple to do—you don’t even have to download a separate app anymore. Here’s how you can become as insufferable to your family and friends as I am to mine.
So first, go to Settings > General > Keyboard, and click on International Keyboards.
On the next screen, you’ll see Add New Keyboard.
Choose that, and you’ll see an extremely long list of keyboards you could use if you wanted to. Of course, “Emoji” is what you’ll select for the purposes of this tip, but you could add a Thai or Norwegian one if that’s your style, too. Why Emoji is under International Keyboards, I’ll never understand. Is there some island in the Maldives where the natives speak in Emoji? “Smiley face! Musical Note! Image of People Kissing! Beer Mugs Clinking Together!” Hey, I kind of wanna visit that place.
Anyway, now that you’ve added the Emoji option, you’ll have access to it from wherever you type by touching on the small “alternative keyboard” globe icon.
Incidentally, tapping on that icon will cycle through your different keyboards, and touching and holding there will show a list for you to choose the one you want.
That’s all there is to know about Emoji icons in iOS 5—except that you should probably not use all of them at once. Don’t go crazy, now.