4 Ways to Update the Emojis on an Android Phone

Update Android, experiment with Emoji Kitchen, install a new keyboard, or make your own custom emojis

Fact: There are never enough emojis. Here's how to update Android emojis and how to get new ones on your Android device.

Update Android

What We Like
  • Easiest method for getting new emojis.

  • Updates are automatic.

What We Don't Like
  • Every update doesn't include new emojis.

  • Sometimes old emojis get replaced or redesigned.

Android regularly introduces more emojis with new updates. This article is what you need if you need help updating your Android device.

On top of adding emojis, updates sometimes include redesigns of older emojis. This can be frustrating if you prefer the older versions, but there are ways to get more emojis outside of Android defaults.

Experiment With Emoji Kitchen

What We Like
  • Trying out different combinations is fun.

  • Doesn't work for all apps.

What We Don't Like
  • Combinations aren't always obvious.

  • Requires a lot of trial and error.

The built-in Android keyboard (known as Gboard) has a hidden feature that lets you combine emojis to create new ones. Called Emoji Kitchen, this feature isn't available for all apps, and not all combinations work. You'll just have to experiment.

To use Emoji Kitchen, type two emojis next to each other. If there are any combinations available, suggestions will appear above the keyboard. For example, If you type the heart-with-a-ribbon emoji (💝) and the grinning-face-with-big-eyes emoji (😃), you'll get a smiling heart. If you combine the fire (🔥) and pig face (🐷) emojis, you get a bacon emoji. If there are no combination results, you'll see a ghost and the text Nothing to see here.

Smiling Heart emoji, Bacon emoji, and Nothing to see here highlighted in Android GBoard keyboard

Emojis may look slightly different depending on your version of Android. Emoji Kitchen may not be available for older devices.

Install a New Android Keyboard

What We Like
  • There are a lot of options.

  • Switching between keyboards is easy.

What We Don't Like
  • Not all keyboard apps work with all Android versions.

  • Requires changing your phone settings.

If you want to use emojis that aren't available for Gboard, you can install a third-party keyboard app like SwiftKey, Flesky, or Emoji Keyboard. Just install the app, go to your settings, and change your Android keyboard.

There are even keyboard apps that let you use iPhone emojis on Android. If you have a Samsung phone, you'll have access to the Samsung keyboard, which offers different emojis you won't find on Gboard.

Make Your Own Custom Emojis

What We Like
  • Make emojis that look like you.

  • Plenty of tools to experiment with.

What We Don't Like
  • Most involved method.

  • Some methods require workarounds.

There are tons of free emoji-maker apps available in the Google Play Store including Bitmoji, Emoji Me, and Samsung AR Emoji. There are also emoji maker websites like Angel Emoji MakerEmotiyou, and Emojibuilder. Some of these apps allow you to import custom emojis to the Android keyboard, while others require you to copy and paste.

For instance, you can use a Memoji on Android by using someone else's iPhone or iPad to make one, then send it to yourself on WhatsApp and save it as a sticker. On the other hand, you can add your Bitmojis to your keyboard with the Bitmoji app.

If you don't see the emoji icon available on your Android keyboard, go to Settings > System > Language & Input > On-screen Keyboard > Gboard > Preferences and turn on Show emoji-switch key.

  • Why am I not getting new emojis?

    There is likely one of two reasons you are not getting new emojis; the first is that your device can no longer be updated. Emojis are often tied to updates, so if your phone or tablet can no longer run the latest version of Android, you'll need to upgrade to get the latest software. The other likely reason is the update just isn't out yet. Check for updates periodically and update once it's available.

  • How do I change emoji color in Android?

    You can change many emoji from white or yellow to a different, darker shade. With the emoji keyboard displaying the emoji you’d like to adjust, simply long-press (hold down) the emoji on the emoji and select the different shade when the pop-up appears. Not all emoji have the ability to adjust the color, however. Emoji that can be adjusted show a downward-facing arrow next to it).

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