How to Send a Smiley on an iPhone

By Marshal M. Rosenthal

The iPhone sends text messages and email, just like a computer or laptop. To connote emotion and make your texts and emails fun to read, add picture icons, also called emoticons, to the messages. The iMessage app that your iPhone includes automatically creates smiley faces when you use the correct keystrokes, or if you select the face from a list. In addition, Siri, the iPhone's digital assistant, responds to commands to insert common emoticons.

Step 1

Use the colon, dash and end parenthesis mark ":-)" in a text chat message and iMessage automatically inserts a smiley face using those symbols. Use other symbols for other faces, like a semi-colon for a winking face or the letter D for a grin, such as ";-)" and ":-D."

Step 2

Select a keyboard to enable multiple smiley face options in iMessage. Select "Settings," "General," and then "Keyboard." From the options, select "International Keyboards," and then select "Emoji keyboard."

Step 3

Click the globe-like button next to the 123 or ABC button when typing a message to review the pages of emoticon options.

Step 4

Use the words "smiley face," "winky face" or "frowny face" when dictating to Siri. You can also drop the term "face" and Siri will create the common emoticon associated with the term.

Tips & Warnings

  • The smiley icons look their best when the text message or email is sent to another iPhone user.
  • There are some app store programs that want you to pay just to be able to unlock the smiley icons. Be careful about any fees, hidden or otherwise.