Emojis are one of the simplest ways to express emotion within an SMS. Rather than typing out a series of descriptive words, you can simply select a suitable emoji and say it with a face or gesture. There are more emojis and more emoji apps than I ever thought possible. All manage to express every human emotion you can think of and probably a few you can’t.
Since the release of iOS 10 and the opening up of iMessage to third-party developers there has been a raft of new emoji apps for the iPhone. Some are free and some cost money. Rather than expecting you to pay $1.99 to test a new app, we have done it for you. What follows is what we think are the ten best emoji apps for the iPhone.
While tested on an iPhone, these will work on the iPad. Some also have an Android version too.
KeyMoji is a simple emoji app that creates crowdsourced emojis and updates the app with them as they are released. It also includes a dictionary of what each emoji means making this the ideal app for anyone new to emojis, if there is such a person. The inclusion of explainers is a neat feature that makes the sometimes confusing world of emoji accessible to everyone.
Emoji++ is an iOS app with hundreds of emoji options to choose from. It has been around for a couple years now and has refined its UI into a very usable place to be. It brings all its emojis together in a large scrollable window that offers fast access to a huge range of images it contains. There is also a neat favorites section that offers fast access to your most used emoji, making expressing yourself faster than ever.
3. Adult Emoji Icons
As the name suggests, Adult Emoji Icons is one for grownups and contains a series of flirty, angry and other emojis. There are over 700 emoji in this single app and they work well with a range of conversations both adult and otherwise. While labeled adult, these aren’t about sex or violence, but open up a range of extra conversation options for those of the appropriate age.
4. Emoji Free
As the name implies, Emoji Free is a free emoji app for iOS. With a definite cartoony vibe, these are simple, no-nonsense emojis with a few animated ones thrown in. The app is simple to use, works with most messaging apps and has just been updated with some Christmas-themed emoji. Considering this app is free, like some of the others in this list, there is a lot on offer here.
Imoji takes the emoji and makes it personal. Rather than giving you hundreds of pre-drawn emoji to choose from, this app enables you to create your own using your own face or any image you care to choose. It also helps you create stickers of said image should an emoji-selfie not be enough. The downside of Imoji is that you have to use its built-in messaging app to get it to work. If you know other Imoji users, this could be for you.
Despite the very feminine appearance, Roxie is a very accomplished emoji app. Not only does it offer access to lots and lots of emoji, it also ‘learns’ the language you use and suggests emoji to suit. It will then set your most used emoji to favorites. It also includes stickers in the mix too, so if you’re into those, you have access to the full range this app offers. While it may be one for the girls, it’s a very good app.
7. SMS Rage Faces
SMS Rage Faces is a slightly different take on the emoji in that it uses customizable faces to use within chat. It also lets you use your own face in the Camera Booth section so you can add memes, celebrity faces, or your own. There are apparently over 3,000 faces to choose from in both emoji and sticker form so there should be at least a few you can use!
8. SwiftKey Keyboard + Emoji
SwiftKey Keyboard + Emoji combines the power of a SwiftKey keyboard with the mild amusement inherent in emoji. There is a specific keyboard for emoji containing hundreds of images of all shapes and sizes. There is also a dictionary and the very usable keyboard. Said keyboard can also offer suggestions for emoji as well as easy access to include them in messages.
Emoji> is apparently one of the most popular emoji apps in the world with a reported 45 million users. It offers hundreds of emojis and stickers and that number grows all the time. It’s a large app, running at 70MB but is packed full of usable stuff. There is also a neat request function where you can ask the community to produce an emoji of your choosing. Emoji> does include in-app purchases though so be aware when using it.
Emojiyo offers the usual plethora of emojis but also has a cool search function where you can search emojis, combos, images and more to suit single words, phrases or even complete sentences. If you truly want to master the world of emoji, this app can certainly help. The UI is simple and easy to use too, which is nice.
Emoji apps change or are updated all the time so while this list of the ten best emoji apps for the iPhone is correct as of November 2016, it is likely to need updating in a month or so. We’ll keep our eye on the world of emoji and advise or update if anything changes significantly.
Is there an emoji app you think we are missing from our top ten list? Tell us about it below!