My girlfriend has an Android phone and when she text me on my new iPhone, emoji like ;-) appear as is and not as a winking smiley. Is there a way to change that?

  • You have to download emoji on both phones
    – user70043
    Commented Feb 11, 2014 at 2:59

1 Answer 1


The emojis sent by the iPhone are particular characters (cf Emoji on Wikipedia)

If you see a smiley, it means that the android phones is probably converting the smiley into images on the phone directly but it seends only the text corresponding to the smiley to the reciever.

Since the iPhone does not change the smileys into emojis (at least without jailbreak), you will not be able to see the emojis.

NB: You can also make a test by sending emoji between an iPhone and a Windows Phone. You'll see that each phone will display its own emojis, since it's the system who has a set of images corresponding to the emoji characters.

TLDR : Your girlfriend's phone doesn't seem to send emojis characters but simple smileys.

  • I know that the iPhone uses special characters for emojis, but can it convert the smiley into icons instead of :-) for example? Because that is what standard android phones do. Commented Jul 24, 2013 at 13:09
  • 1
    without a Jailbreak : no. With a jailbreak there are someapp that will do it. Commented Jul 24, 2013 at 13:13
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    NB: You don't want your iPhone to be automatically rendering smileys as icons. What if something cost 8p or you were sharing a password that involved the ;) sequence. Seeing those as icons would be the bummer...
    – deau
    Commented Dec 27, 2014 at 16:24
  • actually, this problem never occurred to me. My brother uses an Android mobile phone but when he texted me it shows imojies without any problem. Now I wonder why is that? Commented Aug 16, 2019 at 9:45

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