5 best emoji keyboards for Android and iOS to spice up your texting game



Which emoji keyboard are you using?

Angela Lang / CNET

If you have already read emojipedia – or explored different messaging platforms – you’ll find that while the meaning of emoji is generally consistent, the illustration varies depending on your device’s operating system. If you are bored with the built-in emoji keyboard on your telephoneWe’ve got good news: there are dozens of emoji keyboards you can download and use instead, which offer everything from animated emoji and gifs to stickers and themes.

Here are five emoji keyboards for iPhone and Android to check if you want to spice up your text messages.



Here’s what appears when you search for “happy” in Gboard.

Alina Bradford / CNET

If you have an Android phone, Gboard may have already been installed for you. (I use a Google Pixel 5, and Gboard is my default keyboard.) In addition to handy features like swiping to text, Gboard lets you search for emoji, track your most used emoji, add stickers – even animated ones – to your texts, and use gifs and old emoticons. Gboard is available as a free download for Android and ios.

To use Gboard, install it from the App Store or Google Play. Then users should go to Settings and tap To allow (Android) or To start (iOS). If you’re downloading for iOS, you’ll need to manually enable a lot of permissions to use most of Google’s features.

Microsoft SwiftKey


SwiftKey on the Note 3 (left) versus the iPhone 6 Plus (right).

Tim Stevens / CNET

SwiftKey learns your writing style, even your favorite slang, nicknames and emoji, which with its customization features sets it apart from other keyboards. You can add free themes to your keyboards, as well as individual themes and theme packs in SwiftKey Store.

SwiftKey also offers emoji prediction (typing “love”, for example, may offer an emoji ️ in the prediction bar). However, you can deactivate this option in the application settings.

To enable SwiftKey and make it your default keyboard on Android, go to Settings> Language & input> SwiftKey. To configure it on ios, faucet General> Keyboard> Add new keyboard. You will see all the keyboards that you have installed on your device. Choose SwiftKey to activate it. To make this your default, click Edit and drag it to the top of the list.



You can use Bitmoji with other keyboards, like Gboard.


If you’ve used Snapchat, you’ve probably seen Bitmoji – user inspired little cartoon avatars. Bitmoji is also linked to other apps besides Snapchat. For example, Gboard is the default keyboard on my Pixel 5, but you can choose to Install Bitmoji from the toolbar. It adds another level of customization since your Bitmoji is incorporated into almost every sticker.

The keyboard is free for ios and Android. To set it up on Android, you can do it manually or through the Bitmoji app. After signing up to the app, tap the Globe icon to open the Keyboard tab and follow the prompts to activate the keyboard. To manually configure the keyboard, install the app and go to Settings. From there, press Languages ​​and input> Virtual (or Onscreen keyboard)> Manage keyboards> activate Bitmoji keyboard.



Fleksy has tons of emoji and themes to have fun.


Fleksy is a free keyboard download with in-app purchases for Android and ios. The keyboard has thousands of emoji – with recommendations based on your texting habits – as well as gifs to spice up your texts. Fleksy offers keyboard themes like anime and chameleon, as well as built-in mini apps like memoji stickers, typing games, different keyboard sounds, and spell check.

To use Fleksy in ios, download the application, choose Settings> General> Keyboard> Activate Fleksy. You will also need to allow full access to use full keyboard functionality. For Android, you will pass Settings > Languages ​​and input> Virtual (or Onscreen keyboard)> Manage keyboards.



Kika includes dozens of emoji and ways to customize your keyboard.

Kika / Screenshot by Shelby Brown / CNET

Kika keyboard offers thousands of emoji, fonts, gifs, stickers and keyboard themes. Kika also has emoji predictions and an emoji dictionary (handy!), And the gifs work on social media platforms. In addition to the in-app keyboard themes, Kika allows you to use your own photos as the background for your keyboard.

To use Kika in ios, download the app, then choose Settings> General> Keyboard> Activate Kika. You will also need to allow full access to use full keyboard functionality. For Android, you will pass Settings> Languages ​​& input> Virtual (or Onscreen keyboard)> Manage keyboards.

To find out more, learn how to choose the right emoji every time and the easy way to add emoji in Google Docs without copy and paste.



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