For the past month or so, developers have been taking advantage of an opening in the iPhone SDK to enable Emoji emoticons on non-Japanese iPhones, without having to resort to jailbreaking. While I was a little taken aback by the fascination and little mini-market that sprouted up around Emoji activation, it's clear that the public likes its icons.
Unfortunately, the Emoji free for all may be over. Gary, from Typing Genius, e-mailed us this morning and he let us know that Apple is cracking down on Emoji activation outside of Japan. According to Gary, Apple is forbidding Emoji-only apps (Emotifun and iEmoji have both been removed from the App Store) and requiring developers for apps that do more than just Emoji (like Typing Genius -- iTunes link) to provide an Emoji-free update immediately.
In regards to Typing Genius, Gary says that:
* Existing Typing Genius users who have already unlocked emoji will not be affected when Apple remove apps from the App Store
* Emoji unlock will remain intact for users who upgrade to a newer version of Typing Genius (without the unlock) later on
So if you want to get your Emoji on, it's probably best to act sooner rather than later. Pictographs have been removed from the App Store. Oh, the humanity!