Apple Removing Emoji Apps from the App Store as They “Are No Longer Needed”


A couple reports this morning have noted Apple is removing Emoji apps from the App Store, citing they are no longer required to unlock the icons initially made available to Japanese users. Emoji icons provide a plethora of advanced emoticons and was not supported natively until iOS 5. Prior to that, users needed free apps to ‘unlock’ emoji icons on their iOS devices. 

TechCrunch and MacRumors are both reporting developers have received letters from Apple such as the following: 

Hello XXXX,

We are writing to let you know your app, XXXX, has been removed from the App Store because it is no longer needed to unlock Emoji.

Since iOS 6 now provides Emoji support to all users, your app is no longer in compliance with the App Store Review Guidelines <>

2.12 Apps that are not very useful, are simply web sites bundled as apps, or do not provide any lasting entertainment value may be rejected

If you have questions about the removal of your application, please contact App Review at Please include the App ID and the name of your application in your email.

Thank you and best regards,

App Review

As noted in the letter above, Apple cites section 2.12 from their App Store Review Guidelines as the reason for removing these apps, which are no longer necessary. MacRumors notes developers being targeted are those that specifically mention emoji as part of their app features and not those that enable the emoticons.

How to enable Emoji in iOS 6? Easy.

Settings > General > Keyboard > Keyboards > Add New Keyboard > Emoji

To access your new emoji icons, tap on the ‘globe’ icon whenever the on screen keyboard appears. 



  • This is great, as it helps to prevent people from spending money on stuff they think they need but ultimately is a scam. What I’m really wondering is why they don’t pull those “change your lock screen” apps that are even more of a scam. At least these apps will still do something for people that haven’t upgraded to the latest iOS. Those lock screen apps are purely misleading.

  • londonfish

    As I don’t want to upgrade iOS6 on my iphone4 so the emoji app I already have is necessary. I really like apple monitoring their apps, unlike android you don’t know there is any virus or not.

  • Martin

    My parents updated iPhone 3GS on iOS 6.0.1 does not have emoji as a native setting. But they still have a few emoji apps backed-up.

    I know 3GS is now discontinued and few people still use one, but just giving heads up.

  • It’s not a native setting, but it is available in the International Keyboard settings.

  • Mark

    1. Why don’t you want to upgrade to iOS6?
    2. You don’t need an emoji app. It’s already built to the iOS version you have.