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The 10 Best Emoji Apps For the iPhone

Posted by Jamie on November 21, 2018

In a world where so much of our communication with our friends, partners, family, and coworkers is done through texting, words often fall flat. Sometimes you need to show you’re only kidding, you really love someone, or just give a quick approval, and we don’t have time to go flipping through a thesaurus to find just the right nuance. There may be those occasions when your response can only be sufficiently communicated with the face of an alien looking shocked. That’s why we have emojis. And that’s why there are more emoji apps then there are human emotions themselves.

When iOS 10 opened up iMessage to third-party developers, emoji apps for the iPhone flooded the market. And with the Animoji capabilities of the iPhone X/XS/XR, the possibilities have exploded. Some of these apps are free, but many cost a dollar or two. But rather than emptying your wallet to test every emoji app in the Apple Store, we’ll give you a list of our personal favorites. Here are what we believe 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.

1. KeyMoji

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 explainers included are a neat feature that makes the sometimes confusing world of emoji accessible to everyone. And the autocomplete features make finding and sharing emojis a breeze.

Download KeyMoji for free.

2. Bitmoji

Bitmoji allows you to create your own personal cartoon avatar, incorporated into an enormous library of stickers. Dress yourself up in different outfits, surround yourself in flames, or show off your breakdance moves. Bitmoji is one of the few emoji apps that are truly fun to play with even when you’re not texting.

Download Bitmoji for free here.

3. Animoji

Okay—this technically isn’t a third party app, and if you’re an iPhone X/XS/XR user, it’s already packaged into iOS. But’s worth adding to our list because it’s just so darn fun. Using the technology of Face ID, you can select from a range of emoji characters that follow your head and expressions (including your tongue). You can record your Animoji with audio, making the resulting animation truly personal.

4. Emoji Free

As the name implies, Emoji Free is a free emoji app for iOS. With a great cartoony vibe, these are simple, no-nonsense emojis, with a few animated ones thrown in. It’s simple to use, works with most messaging apps, and has plenty of holiday-themed emoji. For a free app, it offers a lot.

Download Emoji Free here.

5. Imoji

If you love the idea of Animoji, but don’t have an iPhone X/XS/XR, you might want to give Imoji a try. Though not as sophisticated as Apple’s Animoji, it allows you to map your head movements and facial expressions onto a series of characters, which you can customize. It even lets you place the characters into 360 AR worlds. 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.

Download Imoji for free here.

6. 5000+ Emoji

If what you really want are emojis, emojis, emojis, and more emojis, then as the name implies, 5000+ Emoji are for you. If you can’t find the exact emoji you’re looking for among this extensive collection of frogs, pumpkins, cats, wizards, sea creatures, and cowboy iguanas, you haven’t spent enough hours looking. And although the app is free, the emojis don’t feel cheap. They’re nicely detailed and look great on hi-res displays.

Download 5000+ Emoji for free here.

7. SMS Rage Faces

SMS Rage Faces uses customizable emojis within chat. You can even use your own face in the Camera Booth, add memes, celebrity faces, and illustrations. There are over 3,000 faces to choose from in both emoji and sticker form, so there should be at least a few you can use!

Download SMS Rage Faces for free here.

8. SwiftKey Keyboard

Though SwiftKey is not marketed as an emoji app, its emoji functionality make it worth adding to our list. It includes a keyboard for emoji containing hundreds of images of all shapes and sizes, and they’re easy to find when you need to deliver just the right smiley face. And once you start using SwiftKey to type your messages, you may discover why so many iOS users keep it as their default keyboard.

Download SwiftKey Keyboard for free here.

9. Emoji>

Emoji> is 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 it’s packed full of usable stuff. There’s also a neat request function that allows you to ask the community to produce an emoji of your choosing. Emoji> does include in-app purchases though, so be aware when using it.

Download Emoji> for free here.

 

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10. Moji Maker

If you’re feeling creative, the immensely popular Moji Maker lets you create your own custom emojis that sync to your keyboard. Using a library of thousands of parts, you can craft together a limitless number of emojis all your own. The app is easy to use, the graphics look great, and it’s free.

Download Moji Maker for free here.

We’ll keep our eye on the world of emoji and let you know if we see any great new apps hit the Apple Store.

Is there an emoji app you think we are missing from our top ten list? Tell us about it below!

One thought on “The 10 Best Emoji Apps For the iPhone”

Catherine Cooley says:
Hi,
Thank you for the info on emoji’s!

FYI, you probably didn’t mean to sound sexist, but your first sentence describing the Roxie app could easily be interpreted as an insult to women: “Despite the very feminine appearance, Roxie is a very accomplished emoji app.” This statement indicates than feminine things are not very accomplished.
I thought you might want to know.

Thank you,
Catherine

Reply
Art Mayo says:
I think what the author meant is that girls are the #1 users of emojis and women being #3, but the app has emojis that are gender neutral, and ones that would skew towards male users. I understand that right now there is a huge effort to shine light and attack men who are misogynists, sexist, or people who are sexual predators, which is great. We need to get rid of the Harvey Weinsteins, Bill O’Reillys, Roger Ailes, and Bill Cosbys of the world. But we can’t over do it and take it too far because then no one will take it seriously again. Example we could have women saying they got “unwanted sexual advances” from guys who just hit on them. And technically that is an unwanted sexual advance. But a guy approaching a girl at a bar and offering to buy her a drink, or a guy asking a girl out, and the girl saying no is not sexual assault, abuse, or harassment. It is flirting and how people used to start dating before the internet age. Now we choose who we date based on their looks and 8 sentences about them that they themselves wrote, which I think is a step back.
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