How to Get Cool Emoji on Your Android

Never see squares instead of smileys again

This article details several third-party apps for your Android phone that allow you to send and receive emoji if your device doesn't support them. When you want to use one of these keyboard apps, just change the keyboard on your Android device. These apps are compatible with Android phones regardless of the manufacturer.

01
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Emoji Keyboard

Emoji Keyboard Pro on Android
What We Like
  • Large emoji library.

  • Extra features like AI predictive text and GIFs.

  • Ties into other apps that you already use.

What We Don't Like
  • May be hard to narrow down from so many options.

  • Some features require in-app purchases.

The Emoji Keyboard app gives you access to more than 3,000 icons. Along with offering plenty of options, the app includes a prediction feature and an emoji dictionary in case you're unclear on the meaning of any of the icons. You can also send GIFs and stickers across social apps like Facebook Messenger, Kik, Snapchat, and Instagram.

While the app is free to download, you can also download themes via in-app purchases.

02
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SwiftKey

SwiftKey on Android
What We Like
  • Offers all Android emoji currently available.

  • Extra features like swiping to type.

  • Free to use.

What We Don't Like
  • May run slowly on older devices.

  • Auto-spacing after periods may affect entering website addresses.

  • Emoji may not fit on the screen.

SwiftKey is a worthwhile download even if you don't want or need emoji. Its main benefit is the option to swipe between letters to type, and it uses AI-powered predictions to provide suggestions and speed up your typing. Provided your smartphone has Android 4.1 or a more recent version of the mobile software, you'll be able to use SwiftKey for emoji. With the app's intelligent features, it can predict which emoji you'll want to use and when.

03
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Google Hangouts

Google Hangouts on Android
What We Like
  • Integrates with your Google account.

  • Lets you save your chats and includes video options.

  • Includes emoji and GIFs.

What We Don't Like
  • A separate app you'd use in addition to the onboard messaging.

  • Subject to availability of Google service.

  • Comes with the same privacy concerns as all Google products.

Using Google Hangouts as your texting app could be a solid option, especially if you're using an older Android phone that isn't running Android 4.1 or later. The Hangouts app has built-in emoji. It also offers stickers and GIFs.

04
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Textra

Textra on Android
What We Like
  • Includes all available emoji.

  • Lets you choose how emoji appear.

  • More customization options than the standard Android messaging app.

What We Don't Like
  • A separate app from your phone's standard messaging software.

  • Some reports of users unable to send texts.

  • Must pay to remove ads.

This option requires you to replace your standard texting app with Textra, but it could be worth it, especially if you want to see emojis as they appear on the iPhone rather than on Android devices; you can choose between Android, Twitter, Emoji One, and iOS-style emoji.

Using Third-Party Emoji Apps

With the third-party apps listed in this article, you're downloading and installing a new keyboard for your Android phone. Once you've added the app from the Google Play Store, go to Settings System > Language and Input > Virtual Keyboard > Manage Keyboards. Choose the new keyboard to start using it.

How to choose a new keyboard in Android
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