If you have ever browsed emojipedia, or explored different messaging platforms, you have surely noticed that although the meanings of emoji are generally the same, the graphics vary depending on the operating system of your mobile. There are dozens of emoji keyboards that you can download and use in place of the default keyboard given to you. Animated emojis, gifs, stickers and themes, there are dozens of keyboards that come with loads of options. We’ve picked the top five for Android and iOS.
If you have an Android smartphone, Gboard may be your default virtual keyboard. In addition to handy features like quick gesture writing, Gboard allows searching for emojis and keeps the most used ones, it offers stickers, gifs and emoticons. This keyboard is available as a free download for Android and iOS.
To use Gboard, install it from the App Store or Google Play. Then, go to Settings and press Activate (Android) or
Start (iOS). On iOS, you’ll need to manually enable a lot of permissions to use most of Google’s features.
One of the specifics of SwiftKey that makes it unique compared to other virtual keyboards is the fact that it learns your writing style, including slang, your nicknames and your favorite emojis. It also does emoji prediction: for example, if you type “love”, the keyboard will suggest a heart-shaped emoji.
To enable SwiftKey and make it your default keyboard on Android, go to Settings > Language and seizure > SwiftKey. To set it up on iOS, tap General > Keyboard > Add a new keyboard. You will see all the keyboards that you have installed on your device. Choose SwiftKey to activate it. To make it your default keyboard, click Edit and drag it to the top of the list.
If you’ve used Snapchat, you’ve probably seen Bitmoji, those user-inspired little cartoon avatars. Bitmoji is also tied to apps other than Snapchat. For example, Gboard allows you to add Bitmoji to the toolbar.
The keyboard is free for Android and iOS. On Android, it can be configured manually or via the Bitmoji application. After registering in the app, tap the icon World to open the tab
Keyboard and follow the instructions to activate it. To manually configure the keyboard, install the application and go to the
Settings. From there, press Languages and input > Virtual keyboard (or on-screen keyboard)> Manage keyboards > activate the Bitmoji keyboard.
Fleksy is a free downloadable virtual keyboard with in-app purchases for Android and iOS. The keyboard includes thousands of emojis, with recommendations based on your writing habits, as well as gifs. Fleksy also offers themes, memoji stickers, different keyboard sounds, and a spell checker.
To use Fleksy in iOS, download the app, then go to Settings> General> Keyboard> Activate Fleksy. You will also need to allow full access to use full keyboard functionality. For Android, go through Settings> Languages & input> Virtual keyboard (or onscreen keyboard)> Manage keyboards.
Kika offers thousands of emoji, fonts, gifs, stickers, and keyboard themes. It also manages emoji prediction and integrates an emoji dictionary. The gifs work on social media platforms. In addition to the keyboard themes built into the app, Kika allows you to use your own photos as the keyboard background.
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, go Settings> Languages & input> Virtual keyboard (or onscreen keyboard)> Manage keyboards.
Article from CNET.com adapted by CNETFrance
Image: Angela Lang / CNET