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Stylize Contacts & Names on iPhone By Adding Emoji Characters

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Adding emojis to contact names on iPhone is a fun way to stylize individual contacts and bring an extra layer of customization to iOS. Not only is it fun, it can also help identify names quickly from your contact list, get an extra visual indicator of text message senders, and smileys even appear on incoming and outgoing calls.

Before making changes to your contact list, it’s usually a good idea to back them up. While it’s highly unlikely that something will go wrong, it will only take a moment, and if you accidentally delete something, confuse a name or two, or decide you don’t like emoji customizations, you can restore back to normal. Once you’ve done that, jump ahead and start customizing your contacts.

Add emoji to contact names on iOS

We’ll focus on going through the iPhone, but technically this works the same way on the iPad and iPod touch:

  • Enable the optional Emoji Keyboard in iOS settings, if you haven’t already
  • Open the Contacts application or Phone, and select the Contacts tab
  • Tap the Edit button, then select any contact name to edit it
  • Tap one of the namespace, then call the Emoji keyboard by tapping the globe icon and selecting the emoji icon to stylize the contact name
  • Select “Done” when you are done
  • Repeat with other contacts as desired

Emoji icons are added to iPhone contact names

I prefer to add emoji icons to the end of the contact’s name, which means adding them to the “Last Name” section of the contact, but of course you can also add prefixes with them by adding it before entering the first name.

It is worth mentioning that adding emoji icons to names can change their sorting in the contact list, which uses alphabetical order and grouping by default. You’ll find that ending contacts in the list can change depending on where the emoji is placed, which is another reason why placing characters at the end of a last name is a good idea, otherwise the icon itself will be interpreted as a first or last name.

Here’s an example of what this looks like when you get an incoming iMessage from someone whose name is emoticon-style:

The emoji tag was added to the contact name on iOS

Assuming different parent machines are used for each name, it’s very easy to know who is sending the message, even if you can’t read the name because the phone is far away. During a customization kick, it’s also helpful to differentiate people from auditory signals by setting individual text and separate ringtones for each individual, if not all, at least those on the “Favorites” list.

Because OS X and iOS share emoji characters, you can also make these name customizations from Mac Contacts and then let iCloud sync them to iPhone and iPad. Keep in mind that the latest versions of iOS have a few more characters than the Mac Emoticon Dictionary, which means you’ll end up with more options if you make these changes from the mobile world.

Thanks to Chelsea for performing this fun trick. Have a fun tip or trick you want to share? Find us Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or email – comments will be temporarily disabled

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James Hogan
James Hogan is a senior staff writer at Bollyinside, where he has been covering various topics, including laptops, gaming gear, keyboards, storage, and more. During that period, they evaluated hundreds of laptops and thousands of accessories and built a collection of entirely too many mechanical keyboards for their own use.

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