A weird question - I'm not a designer, but think a few of emoji provided with apple keyboard would very well describe the nature of my app. I would like to include them in my app icon design.

Can I use Apple emoji on app icon for submitting my app to iOS App Store?

  • 1
    Emoji images from iOS/OS X are created and owned by Apple. You cannot use Apple's intellectual property in your app (or its icon) without explicit permission from them. – tubedogg Sep 7 '16 at 16:40

EDIT: Legally it's extremely unlikely that you are allowed to do that as @fbara explained in his/her answer, but you can definitely give it a try and worst case I'd expect the app to be kicked off the store. Seeing as other apps have already done this successfully its not impossible to get done, just not as reliable as using your own assets.

Since icons are nothing more than just an image, yea its definitely possible.

Now about whether or not apple will allow you to use the emojis, I didn't find anything saying that you can or cannot use them. However there are countless apps which already do so, so I assume it should be fine.

Example that exists on AppStore

Removed line 1 as it probably doesnt answer what the question really was asking

  • Although I'm not sure this answer technically demonstrated that it is allowed to do it in light of the other answers, it does seem like the examples provided show a precedent that using emojis in an app icon isn't too risky either. But maybe in those cases it was an exception because they were emoji apps. – kal-al Sep 8 '16 at 1:14
  • yeah, legally (as fbara said below) it's not allowed unless you get permission and whatnot, luckily the worst that can happen is: "your app is no longer on the AppStore" Ill add that to my answer – Hoi_A Sep 8 '16 at 8:35

I would say no.

Apple review guidelines state that you must own the rights for any images you display in, or on, your app. https://developer.apple.com/app-store/review/guidelines/

Guideline 2.3.9 states:

2.3.9 You are responsible for securing the rights to use all materials in your app icons, screenshots, and previews, and you should display fictional account information instead of data from a real person.

Also, Apple gives violations of this guideline as one of the top reasons for rejection and/or removal from the App Store. If you include artwork that you don't own, you might get thru Review but they're getting stricter and might remove it.

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