Emoji, Japanese for "picture" + "letter," is a set of picture characters used in Japan much in the same way as emoticons here in the US. The Emoji pictographs, however, offer a wider variety of images than emoticons which are typically limited to just expressing an emotion or facial expression such as winking.
Emoji pictographs include the usual suspects from the emoticon gang as well as many others. Such gems as the top hat, a diamond ring for "txting" your wedding proposal, and also some holiday goodies like Santa, and a ghost are all part of the fun! For the majority of cell phones, Emoji is a Japanese-focused feature that is not implemented much in the US. Some, however, have already enabled the use of Emoji through a process that requires jailbreaking the iPhone.
There is a simpler way, however. We touched on the enabling of Emoji in a recent iPhone 101 article. This post over at MacTalk provides a very detailed step-by-step walkthrough for enabling Emoji on iPhones with firmware 2.2. Justine also covered this procedure for enabling Emoji over at her site.
The process involves purchasing and briefly using an application called FrostySpace ($0.99, iTunes link). The result is that a new international keyboard, "Emoji," is available for your use. Please note: FrostySpace is a
Japanese-languageTaiwanese RSS feed reader that may be of limited utility for some users.
If you get this working (or don't) we'd love to hear about your experiences in the comments.
Thanks to Chris Pirillo and others for sending this in!