iOS 5 Tip: Enable Emojis

October 24, 2011

All iDevices have their own Emojis – you know, not only the smiley faces but also dozens of other mini-icons / emoticons of dancing women, food dishes, cars and trucks, and much more.

What many people don’t realize is that it’s now relatively easy to enable Emojis without having to download an app.

Here’s how.

First, on your iPhone, iPod, or iPad, go to Settings / General / Keyboard and then tap on “International Keyboards.”

Next, tap on “Add New Keyboards …”

You’ll see a list of keyboards of different languages. Scroll down to “Emoji” and select it. (I know, I know, Emoji isn’t a language. Humor me here, please.)


You’ll be taken back to the Keyboards screen, where you should see the Emoji keyboard listed.


Now go to any app that involves typing – say, Mail or Messages. When you see the keyboard, you’ll see a world icon between the numbers key and the space bar (or mic, if you’re lucky enough to have an iPhone 4S).


Tapping the world icon key will switch keyboards – and if you only have two keyboards enabled then it’d switch directly to the Emoji keyboard.


You’ll notice that the Emoji keyboard has several tabs. Each tab has several pages – you only need to swipe the Emojis to see the next or previous page. The first tab lists the Emojis you most recently used, and the second tab is actually the “default” with the typical smiley faces and a great deal more. The rest of the tabs are for household / office stuff, nature, transportation, and other stuff.

Go swipe and have fun! :)

UPDATE: These Emoji can only be viewed on iDevices like iPads, iTouches, and iPhones. They show up as gibberish on other devices and on the computer. In addition, they might not be accessible for people who are blind or have low vision. Heck, they’re hard for me to see — I’m too close to being middle-aged for my own comfort … So, keep these in mind when using Emojis with friends, family, your audience, or your enemies.

Another little-known new iOS 5 feature: the Weather app that comes with the iPhone now can give you an hourly view of the weather.

Just tap on a day and the following day will drop down, revealing the hourly info for the day.

Nice, easy, neat, quick, and so Apple.

Wish they’d add a radar view, tho.



A very cool, mostly overlooked feature introduced by iOS 5 is the ability to quickly see your photo roll within the camera app by just swiping right on top of the camera view.

That’s right. Take a picture then swipe right. You’ll them see your most recent photo. Swipe right again to view progressively older photos, or swipe left at the last photo to return to camera view.

I know, the photo roll icon is right there – but c’mon, this is cooler. Seems to work only within the camera app itself and not when other apps use the camera.

(And yes, I’m blatantly using the screenshots to show off my Halloween decor.)




iOS 5’s iMessage feature allows you to see whether the other person using an i-device (also with iOS 5) has received or even read your message. Heck, it even shows you whether the other person is typing!

However, the read / typing feature is turned off as default, and you’d only be able to see if your message was delivered.

To turn this feature on, simply go to Setting / Messages and turn on the “Send Read Receipts” option.


It’s lonely having the only iOS 5-equipped iPhone at the moment. My “Find My Friends” screen is spartan, empty, lonely.


Ah, so that’s how Photo Stream is gonna show up on my iPhone (and surely iPad too) and how it looks:



Still not sure what it’ll look like (nor where it’d be found) on the Mac. Stay tuned.

Where are thou, keyboard shortcuts? Although not as hard to find as the custom vibrations feature, iOS 5’s Keyboard Shortcut feature can still be difficult to find.

First, what are keyboard shortcuts? Ah, I’m sure we all have quick abbreviations we use with our significant others and friends. Like, “owh” or “wdyt.” You can now create custom keyboard shortcuts that expand “owh” to “On my way home!” or “wdyt” to “What do you think?” automatically.

Now, where is it? Um. See, that’s why I need this blog – to teach even myself!

Go to the Settings app, then General, then Keyboard. Scroll to the bottom and then you’ll see a list of (or just one) keyboard shortcuts as well as an option to create your own shortcut.


If you want to create your own shortcut, tap the “Add New Shortcut…” option and then you’ll see a screen asking you to create a phrase and the shortcut itself.


Tap Save and you’ve created your very first keyboard shortcut. Congratulations! Wdyt? Oops, I’d better enter that one into the list …

Ok, I’m back. Here’s a screenshot of the shortcut in action.


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