***Updated*** iPhone - how to unlock the hidden Emoji for free...

So why do the Japanese get Emoji and we don't?

That just isn't fair... In an attempt to balance things up a bit I'll tell you how to unlock the Emoji hidden on your iPhone. Follow these four easy steps and you'll be grinning smilies at your mates (with iPhones) in no time:

  1. Make sure you have iPhone software 2.2 or higher installed on your iPhone 3G (not sure if this works with the original iPhone)
  2. Go to the App Store and search for an App called 'Spell Number' - it's written by a company called Waterworld and is FREE! Install it.
  3. Once installed open the App and tap in '9876543.21' - this is an Easter Egg that will unlock the Emoji hidden on all iPhones with software 2.2 and above installed
  4. Now to turn them on. Go to: Settings > General > International > Keyboards > Japanese. You will see that an Emoji setting has been added. Switch it on.

***UPDATE*** The 'Spell Number' application was updated on 6 March 2009 and the Emoji Easter Egg was removed! Bummer. However - it you search for 'Emoji' on the App Store you will find other applications that claim to unlock iPhone Emoji. Simply replace steps 2 amd 3 above with the App you choose to use.

NOTE: You only need to follow these steps to use Emoji - you can still see them on an iPhone 3G (v2.2+) without having them turned on. This means you can surprise all your friends by sending them a bunch of random images. (Believe me there is some wierd little pictures in there.)

Next time you type an MSN, send an email, update Facebook, etc using your iPhone you will see a globe button to the right of the Space Bar. That's where your Emoji are! Bear in mind that only people with iPhones (v2.2+) will see your Emoji - everyone else will see a strange Japanese character.