How to Use Emoji on Android

This quick guide will tell you how to use emoji on Android. Over the past year, Google has added hundreds of emoji, and users are now spoiled for choice. Read on to find out where they are, what options are available, and how to use them.

Emoji characters while typing have become increasingly popular on Android and iOS. Android 6.0 Marshmallow added over 200, and Nougat has even more. Apple and Google keep improving their offering, which is good for everyone.

Below is a quick guide to where they are and the easiest way to use Android emoji while typing. You won't need a new keyboard either, they're built right into Android. Plus, several third-party keyboards add even more.


Many manufacturers like Samsung have additional emoji for their smartphones. Our guide above covers Samsung. Then, third-party text apps like Textra have add-ons that will provide iOS characters for Android users. None of this is necessary if you're using Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow or later. What almost everyone should be.

With that out of the way, here's how to find and use all Android emoji. Ars Technica has a nice list of everything new, and what's changed.


In order to take advantage of the new Android images and emoji characters that have been added to our phones or tablets, users will need to be running Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow. Once they are, they're built right into the stock Google Keyboard. If you have an older phone, other methods are needed.

Users can simply head to their text messaging app of choice, the messaging app on Nexus smartphones, or even Google Hangouts and start typing. The same rules apply to an email. Users only need to press the "smiley face" emoji on the keyboard or long press to access it. Swipe between them to find what you want, because there are so many.

When using Google Keyboard, depending on the app you are in, the emoji icon will automatically appear in the bottom right. Alternatively, this will be the secondary action under the "return" key. In Google Hangouts and many messaging apps, it's there by default. Tap the smiley at the bottom right and browse through all the emoji. Tacos, smiley faces, hand gestures, flipping the bird and hundreds more.


As you can see above (left), face emoji is present by default when writing on Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow. Tapping will show everything in our screenshot on the right. Then you have the choice between countless different columns (in black and white). Scroll and find what you want.

Other details

With other apps, such as Textra or text messaging apps, this may not be present. Instead, there's a return key like most keyboards for typing. Users just need to do that, and the same smiley as above will do that. From there, let go and the emoji keyboard appears filled with the same options.


Above is the appearance of the Google keyboard in use. A long press of the back key brings up a smiley face, then gives users access to over 200 new emoji characters. This application is now called GBoard, but the same options remain.

It's worth noting that the three little dots under the period or comma (on either side of the spacebar) can also be long pressed for additional options.

No matter what you are doing on an Android smartphone or tablet, as long as the keyboard is available, users can access and use all the emoji characters that were added in Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow. Since most users have updated to Android 6.0 or 7.0, everyone should have these options. If you have any questions, leave us a comment below.