Here's How To Find The Perfect Emoji Every Time

GIF: Courtesy Microsoft.
I have an arsenal of "Frequently Used" emoji that I'm sure by now my friends and family have gotten sick of. If I can't find the right emoji in 30 seconds or less, I probably just won't use one. (I'm clearly not as big of an emoji die-hard as some of our other staffers.) But I would like to get more creative and expressive with my emoji use. And the new Swiftmoji keyboard fills that desire perfectly.

Swiftmoji, now available on iOS and Android, is a third-party keyboard you can download. Based on what you type in the text field of a message, snap, or email, it will auto-predict what emoji would best suit your needs. Truth be told, a similar feature will be built into iOS come this fall — but it's not available yet.

Once installed on iOS, you swap over to the Swiftmoji keyboard by tapping and holding the globe icon at the bottom of your phone's default QWERTY keyboard (it's technically a keyboard plug-in). On Android, Swiftmoji is a full keyboard replacement, so it can be your default all the time.

After using it for about a week on iOS, I did find it was annoying that it's only a plug-in, rather than a full keyboard. On Android, emoji suggestions will crop up as you're typing; on the iPhone, you've got to tap and jump over to the Swiftmoji keyboard, similar to how you would for the phone's normal emoji keyboard.

But, its predictive emoji suggestions are on point. When I texted my boyfriend, "I'm going to go for a bike ride soon, I love you!" the person-riding-a-bike emoji and the smiley blowing a kiss emoji surfaced at the top of Swiftmoji's 18 emoji suggestions, making it super easy to tap and send. Those emoji may have been in my "Frequently Used" list, but I still would have had to hunt for them a little harder. (The icons that Swiftmoji's keyboard presents are slightly larger and more spaced out, making it faster to scan and select what you want to use.)

The keyboard also has its own section for "Frequently Used" emoji, and a tab for browsing the full emoji catalog, in case you don't want to use its auto-suggestions. But, for the most part, using Swiftmoji's predictions made including emoji in my messages faster, simpler, and a little more fun.

You can download the app from the App Store or Google Play today, and you can check out the video below for a better idea of what it's like to use.
Video: Courtesy Microsoft.
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