Apple Axes iPhone Emoji Icons
Article by George Norman
On 02 Mar 2009
One of the cool new features the iPhone OS 2.2 update brought was the ability to activate Emoji icons – these are Japanese emoticons that were served only to those iPhone users who actually lived in Japan. At the time we featured a simple method you could employ and activate Emoji icons outside of Japan; since then several iPhone apps have popped out, performing the same task. It seems that Apple remains true to its conviction of only allowing the Japanese to use these emoticons and has come out to announce that all Emoji activating apps will have to remove this option.

The simple truth of the matter is that these Emoji icons are quite fun to look at and work very well on the iPhone. They allow iPhone users to better express themselves, to better convey their message – or at least convey it in a funny, Japanese emoticon style. I really do not understand why Apple would move against using them outside of Japan. I am guessing that it has something to do with the fact that by enabling these emoticons you are messing with the operating system’s built-in restrictions and Apple has already made it quite clear that it considers actions such as jailbreaking the iPhone against the law.


There is one upside to this story: if you have downloaded an Emoji activating iPhone app and have already enabled the emoticons, then you get to keep them. The app’s developer will be forced to pull the Emoji activation feature from the app (which means pulling the app altogether if that is its only function), but this does not affect your already enabled emoticons. As a matter of fact, even OS updates and firmware restores should not impact your Emoji icons activation as long as you have backed up your iPhone data.

In related Japan software news, it must be said that Yahoo! Messenger 9 is now available on Japanese – details here.

Tags: Apple, iPhone, Emoji
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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