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There's another emoticon keyboard hiding in your iPhone

Before there were emojis, emoticons were all the rage.

Jason Cipriani/CNET

At some point, you've probably seen the infamous shrug emoticon: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Emoticons (not to be confused with emoji) are a series of characters put together to make a face, animal or some other funny character. Think of emoticons as the traditional smiley face -- with a lot more personality.

Crafting an emoticon like the shrug-face takes a lot more work than an emoji, though. Have you ever looked at some of the emoticons shared on Facebook or Twitter and wonder how much free time someone used in order to create a funny emoticon? Me too.

But there's good news! You no longer have to try and figure out the digital equivalent of a Rubik's cube. On Thursday Mashable uncovered a hidden emoticon keyboard on your iPhone.

Follow the process below to activate and use the hidden feature:

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET
  • Launch the Settings app.
  • Tap on General, followed by Keyboard.
  • Select Keyboards, then Add New Keyboard.
  • Scroll down and select Japanese from the list of available keyboard languages.
  • Last, select Kana.

After exiting the settings app, launch Messages (or any other app where you can enter text). With the keyboard visible, tap on the globe icon to switch between keyboards.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

A split-second after activating the Kana keyboard, an emoticon face will show up on the bottom row. Select it, followed by the up arrow (as pointed out in the screenshot above).

A list of emoticons will then be displayed, available for you to select with a tap. I'm not sure about the meaning of most of them, but I'd be lying if I didn't think they were fun.


I think that's a celebration emoticon. If not, it is now!