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Simple Japanese Emoticons with Kaomoji

At MacStories, we use iMessage on a daily basis as our team chat. Alongside the occasional meme, Twitter link, or article we need to check out, the Japanese emoticon is a common occurrence in our group thread. I’ve always wondered whether my fellow teammates learned to manually type out flipping tables and other emoticons – also known as kaomojis – while I was stuck using the good-looking, but obvious Apple default emoji. If you happen to live in a team chat of remote workers every day you know how much more successful an original GIF or meme can be.

My quest towards iMessage emoticon domination is over with Kaomoji. A simple $0.99 iPhone app made by Richard Henry (product designer at Quora), Kaomoji contains 1,000 Japanese-style emoticons organized in 28 categories such as Happy, Sad, Evil, Love, Cats, Dogs, Dancing, and the game-changing Table Flip.

Kaomoji’s UI is clean and focused on the actual emoticons. Categories are color-coded, and tapping on one will open a dedicated page with properly colored highlights and fonts. It’s a nice touch. The app has only one feature: copy. Tapping on a kaomoji will bring up a manga-like success message showing a bigger version of the emoticon with the text “Copied”. Once copied, you can paste the text anywhere – be it iMessage, Twitter, Facebook, or any other app.

Kaomoji does one thing extremely well. I like the selection of emoticons, and if I had to nitpick I’d say it’d be nice to have built-in Twitter and Messages/Facebook actions to send text without leaving the app. I would also like to see an iPad version in the future.

Kaomoji is only $0.99 on the App Store.

Let’s also put the table back. ┬──┬◡ノ(° -°ノ)