iOS 12 Complete Guide: Tips, Tricks and How-Tos for Your iPhone

How to Use Emojis in iOS 12

iOS is jam-packed with emoji — even more so since iOS 12.1 added 70 more emoji that include everything from llama to Frisbees. But all those emoji won't do you any good if you don't know where to find them or how to browse through iOS 12's extensive collection.

The good news is that finding emoji is pretty easy once you know where to look. And in one built-in iOS 12 app, there's even a shortcut to finding just the write emoji to express what you want to say. Here's how to make the most of iOS 12's emojis.—Philip Michaels

How to access emoji

1. Go to any app that uses iOS 12's built-in keyboard. (In this example, we'll use Notes.) Most iPhones display a smiley face icon to the left of the space bar, wedged in between the button for switching the keyboard to a numeric layout and the dictation key. Tap that to bring up the emoji keyboard.

If you've installed another language's keyboard on your iPhone — I have a Spanish keyboard on my SE, you'll see a globe icon instead of a smiley face one. Tap it to cycle through to the emoji keyboard, or if you have a lot of different keyboards installed, just long-press and tap the shortcut to go to the emoji keyboard.

2. Once you select the emoji keyboard, your QWERTY keys will make way for a seemingly endless array of symbols. By default, you'll see the most frequently used emojis, but you can also swipe left to see more emojis in a given category. (From Frequently Used, swiping left will show you Smileys & People.

3. You can also change categories by tapping the row of icons at the very bottom of your phone screen. Categories include:

  • Smileys & People
  • Animals & Nature
  • Food & Drink
  • Activity
  • Travel & Places
  • Objects
  • Symbols
  • Flags

How to change the look of an emoji

By default, faces and hand gestures appear are yellow. If you want your emoji to have a skin tone that's closer to yours, just long-press on the emoji you want and different versions of that emoji in an array of skin tones will appear.

Male emojis will include options with facial hair when you long-press on them, too.

Replacing emoji in your texts

Let's be honest: no one has time to scroll through all the emojis Apple includes in iOS 12. Fortunately, if you're using Messages, there's a trick for replacing  your words with an appropriate emoji, and it just takes mere taps instead of endless swiping.

1. Type out your message.

2. Tap the smiley face icon (or the globe icon if that's what's on your iPhone).

3. Words that can be replaced by emoji will turn orange, using an eye-catching animation.

4. Tap the word and the correct emoji will appear in its place.

Tom's Guide Staff

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  • cothirteen
    "You don’t need to do anything special to use Google Maps or Waze on CarPlay, though of course, those apps first need to be installed on your iPhone. Once they are, you will see them on the CarPlay home screen alongside all of your other CarPlay-compatible apps. "

    Can anyone confirm this? I have the public beta installed but regular versions of those apps and it does not show up on CarPlay. From what I am reading the betas are needed.
  • cazdabear
    Most likely, those versions of the apps that you have... don't support Carplay. I read from a Waze Community post, that Waze has only likely released this to their own pool of Waze Beta testers.
  • cothirteen
    Makes sense and that's what I've read too. Just didn't want to miss out on information I wasn't privy to!
  • otisjuhl
    I just downloaded the new, full iOS 12 to my iPhone and connected it to my CarPlay (2017 Subaru). Neither WAZE for Google Maps showed up. Does anyone have any idea how to get it appear? (I have them both on my iPhone and opened them while connected). Thanks!
  • rotolosc
    You need to make sure to update google maps in the app store. Waze is not supported as of yet but coming

  • otisjuhl
    Very helpful - thanks! I did update Google Maps and it appeared on my cars's screen yesterday and works! As noted, WAZE isn't there yet.
  • ashwincampbell
    I’m not sure if anyone else is experiencing this but under screen time > always allow, some apps show up as only numbers with no icon. There’s no way to tell what those apps are. Any idea what is causing this?
  • diem2222
    After half an hour recording it is not possible to stop it, just the option restart and stop.
  • Jason3022
    While details/specifics are great, they could have made this much simpler - it is overly complex.

    Here's why:

    I simply want to know how much 'Screen Time' I've used since I unplugged my Ipad from the wall. That information is not available - it does not coincide with 'Battery' either, which is pure lunacy.

    I'm not sure what these techs. are thinking but it positively is not with the average end-user in mind.
    I am not alone in this thought.