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August 11, 2016

The Emoji Craze

Filed under: Main — Tags: — admin @ 12:01 am

Emoji is a Japanese word that means picture character. It also has a keen association with the English word emotion. These tiny picture characters find themselves in text messages and emails to express thoughts that words alone cannot. If you’re like me and kind of out-of-touch with the kids these days, then let me explain that Emojis are insanely popular.

Historically, emojis first appeared on Japanese cell phones. This was about the same time that text emoticons began to appear — you probably recall the :-) characters that are considered Old School today. These are necessary tools, of course, designed so that you could impart some levity into text that could be misinterpreted.

As emojis became more popular, computer nerds created standards. (That’s what they live for.) Eventually emojis were encoded and made available in multiple devices. They may look subtly different, but the basic concept is conveyed.

Right now, the Unicode standard codifies over 1,000 emojis (Emojipedia). Some people string together messages composed entirely of emojis. They can craft complex lines of text, poetry, and (naturally) dirty thoughts.

Emojis aren’t available on every device and, as I wrote earlier, they don’t look exactly the same in each instance.

On many Android phones, a special keyboard layout presents emojis characters. To access it, choose another keyboard layout, one of the symbol keyboards, which is covered in my Android For Dummies books. The emojis are typically presented by category, as shown in Figure 1. Swipe each category page left-or-right to view page after page of the various emojis you can insert into text.

Figure 1. Emoji options as shown on the Samsung keyboard.

Figure 1. Emoji options as shown on the Samsung keyboard.

Tap an emoji to insert it into the text, which can be in a text message, email, or anywhere else typing is permitted.

And if you have trouble understanding an emoji in a message you receive, don’t hesitate to ask the sender what it means. Apparently people who use emojis are quite excited to share their favorites.

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