aNewDomain.net — Emoji keyboard apps let you add awesome Japanese characters as emoticons. They look cooler than your standard smiley because they have more detail — and there are thousands to choose from. Find Emoji apps here. But there’s no need for an Emoji keyboard app if you own a mobile device running Android 4.1 or higher. That operating system has an Emoji keyboard built in. All you have to do is set it up. Here’s how to enable the Emoji keyboard in Android 4.1 or higher.
Note: For this article I’m using a Nexus 7 running Android 4.3, which is a pure Android experience. If you’re running a heavily-skinned version on a Samsung S4, for example, your results may vary.
How to Enable Emoji Keyboard in Android 4.1 or Higher
To activate the keyboard, first head to Settings > Language & Input.
Screenshot image credits: Brian Burgess for aNewDomain.net
On the next screen scroll down and select iWnn IME. You’ll see the Emoji option under the Keyboard & Input Method section.
After you’ve activated it, you’ll still be able to use your normal keyboard as a default. And it will be easy to pull up your Emoji keyboard whenever you want. To pull up the Emoji keyboard after you’ve activated it, just press and hold the spacebar. Then select it from the Choose Input Method screen.
The Emoji keyboard lets you choose among different categories of icons to find the perfect one to emphasize the point you’re trying to get across.
Here’s an example of how I used Emoji in the Outlook.com app on my Google Nexus 7 tablet.
Based in Pelican Rapids, MN, Brian Burgess led the relaunch of BYTE with Gina Smith, co-founded aNewDomain.net with Gina, John C. Dvorak and Jerry Pournelle in 2011, and serves as the editor-in-chief of GroovyPost.com. He is the How To gallery captain here at aNewDomain.net. Email him at Brian@aNewDomain.net or Brian@Groovypost.com. Find him on Google at his +BrianBurgess page. Follow him on Twitter as @mysticgeek.