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.