Emoticons and emoji have become a second language when it comes to text-based communications. Practically everyone online these days expresses themselves with illustrations, young and old alike. If you're looking for a new way to send the perfect emotional response in writing, we've got a list of apps with varied and unique emojis to express yourself.
Bitmoji is probably the most popular avatar creation emoji app for your best iPhone. With it, you can customize your facial features, hair, makeup, and even outfits. Some companies have even sponsored Bitmoji so you can dress your avatar in certain designer clothes or your favorite baseball team's colors.
You can really express your personal feelings with Bitmoji: Create an avatar of yourself; that avatar will then take on the form of thousands of different emoji.
If you want to tell people how you really feel while making them feel like it's really you saying it, get Bitmoji.
Create your own Bitmoji avatar to represent you! There are a ton of customization options and fashionable accessories to deck yourself out with, then you can send them out as personalized stickers to express yourself.
SMS Rage Faces
The Rage Face is a meme that first made its appearance on the web about a decade ago; it has since become the universal symbol for irritation. You can express that irritation — plus a lot more — with SMS Rage Faces. The app has thousands of funny stickers that you can copy and paste into any text field.
Whether you're mashing up Adventure Time with Troll or just want quick access to hundreds of memes, you'll be able to tell someone exactly how you feel without using any words.
If you plan to use a Rage Face to send an SMS, you can tap a sticker to copy it, and then tap the word bubble in the upper right corner of the screen to switch directly to your iMessage app.
If you feel superior to everyone in the world and want to show your disdain for your fellow beings, SMS Rage Face will make you grimace.
Go on, tell 'em how you really feel with just a Rage Face meme. We could all use these right now.
Emoji Keyboard by LINE
LINE is a messaging app that combines cuteness with social networking, and its emoji app is the perfect companion. But Line's emoji keyboard is more than an add-on for the communications app: It works anywhere a text field exists.
If you already use LINE, you'll recognize some familiar favorite characters; that said, this version does not connect to LINE's messaging server, so if you've purchased any sticker packs through there, you won't see them on this keyboard.
If you like to be cute and want to express your adorableness, grab the LINE emoji app for hundreds of sugary sweet emotions.
If you want to send cute stickers to friends to express how you're feeling, then Emoji Keyboard by LINE is full of adorable options.
These old-school emoticons will either bring back fond memories or make you look like an emoji boss to all your friends. There are 10,000 different Japanese emoticons to choose from and they're categorized to make it easier to find what you're looking for. You can favorite ones you want to find easily again in the future. When you've picked one, just tap it to reveal how you want to share it (directly in iMessage or copy).
If you select iMessage, the Messages app will open up with the Kaomoji already pasted into the text field. All you have to do is enter a recipient. If you choose to copy it, you can paste it anywhere by tapping into a text field and selecting the paste function.
Show off your mad emoji knowledge with access to 10,000 different Kaomoji skills.
Kick it old school with these fun Japanese emoticons. You'll find one for pretty much every emotion you can think of, so impress your friends with Kaomoji.
Similar to Bitmoji, Moji Edit lets you create your own avatar to share with others either by copying and pasting your new Moji or by adding your personal customization to your keyboard. You can select from a wide variety of hair styles and customize your features, makeup, and even clothing options. When you've built your perfect Moji, you can choose from a wide variety of expressions, and even some fancy background options.
For $50 per year (I know that sounds like a lot) you have complete access to everything in the app, including exclusive accessories, new emotions and stickers, and a whole lot more. If Bitmoji just doesn't have the avatar options you're looking for, give Moji Edit a try. You might find what you're looking for.
If Bitmoji doesn't have what you're looking for when creating an avatar, you may end up finding it in Moji Edit. There are thousands of options to choose from, and you can animate them and go into AR mode too.
Guess The Emoji
For a different use of emoji, check out this fun little word game. It uses iconic emoji symbols instead of pictures to create a pictogram for you to solve. You don't need to know your emoji that well, but you do need to recall pop culture references.
For each correct puzzle you solve, you'll earn coins, which you can use when you get stuck on a puzzle. You can use a lifeline to expose a letter, remove unusable letters from the list, or solve the puzzle entirely.
If you just want a fun little game to play while waiting for the bus, check out this emoji-themed word game.
Decipher an assortment of emoji to guess what pop culture reference it's trying to convey. This is a fun little game to help you pass the time.
Apple's own Memoji is an interesting blend of emoji and Nintendo Mii that can utilize the TrueDepth camera in your iPhone to mimic your facial movements. Not only can you send your friend a singing octopus, but you can also create your own Memoji that looks just like you. With plenty of hairstyles, head shapes, piercings, and other options, it's a cool way to make your own Memoji come to life and really capture your essence.
While Memoji is automatically included in iOS and iPadOS, you can download the Memoji app for your Apple Watch if you notice it's not there.
If you have an Apple Watch Series 4 or newer, you can download the Memoji app on your Apple Watch and take advantage of Apple's custom emoji app right on your wrist!
Now that you have them, use them! 😁
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Now that you've downloaded the best emoji apps, it's time to start using them. It's important to note that you won't find these emojis, stickers, and doodles in the emoji viewer, but rather in the App Tray in messages.
That means you'll use these apps like any other app you use to send images, stickers, or anything else. So if you don't know, make sure you read up on how to use stickers and apps in Messages.
Updated March 2022: These are still our favorite emoji apps and all of them work with iOS 15 and iPadOS 15.
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Christine Romero-Chan was formerly a Senior Editor for iMore. She has been writing about technology, specifically Apple, for over a decade at a variety of websites. She is currently part of the Digital Trends team, and has been using Apple’s smartphone since the original iPhone back in 2007. While her main speciality is the iPhone, she also covers Apple Watch, iPad, and Mac when needed.
When she isn’t writing about Apple, Christine can often be found at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, as she is a passholder and obsessed with all things Disney, especially Star Wars. Christine also enjoys coffee, food, photography, mechanical keyboards, and spending as much time with her new daughter as possible.