Apple's new emojis are awesome, but searching for them will still be a nightmare

apple emoji ios 13Apple

I love emojis, and I love that Apple keeps adding new symbols to the iPhone every single year.

What I don't love is how arduous it is to actually find the emoji you're looking for.

Emoji search seems like something Apple should have implemented years ago - yet, it's nowhere to be found on the iPhone, or in iOS 13. The best Apple has right now is its predictive text feature, but it needs to be turned on, and it's not true emoji search.

Here's how I'd love emoji search to work on an iPhone, using Slack - an app that does emoji search right - as an example.

This is an opinion column. The thoughts expressed are those of the author(s).

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First, here's how Apple's system works. Predictive text must be turned on, and you need to type the entire word to see if Apple suggests an emoji for it.

First, here's how Apple's system works. Predictive text must be turned on, and you need to type the entire word to see if Apple suggests an emoji for it.

Apple's predictive text feature will suggest words above your keyboard based on what you're typing. To turn it on, go to your Settings app, then click General, then click Keyboard, then toggle Predictive on.

But this isn't true emoji search: Apple may return two or three emoji suggestions for the word you typed, but those suggestions might not include the emoji you actually want.

But this isn't true emoji search: Apple may return two or three emoji suggestions for the word you typed, but those suggestions might not include the emoji you actually want.

Apple returned three smile emojis when I typed "smile," but there are way more smile emojis than that.

In an ideal emoji search, you should be able to see all of the available results — not just a select few.

On Slack, the communication tool we use at Business Insider, emoji search is extremely easy and intuitive. If you type a word between two colons, like :smile:, it will change into that text into the smile emoji, but also show you all of the available smile emojis.

On Slack, the communication tool we use at Business Insider, emoji search is extremely easy and intuitive. If you type a word between two colons, like :smile:, it will change into that text into the smile emoji, but also show you all of the available smile emojis.

Better yet, if you type a colon (:), then start typing any word, Slack will autofill with any and all available emojis without needing to type the full word.

Better yet, if you type a colon (:), then start typing any word, Slack will autofill with any and all available emojis without needing to type the full word.

On the iPhone, you must finish typing the word for it to suggest an emoji.

Slack even goes the extra mile to let you add your own custom emojis!

Slack even goes the extra mile to let you add your own custom emojis!

I don't expect Apple to let people upload their own images to become emojis, because that could get very messy and very crude very quickly (Apple likes to have control over its ecosystem), but it just goes to show how well Slack handles all of your emoji needs.

Hopefully we get something like this in iOS 14 in 2020. I love all of the new emojis, but I should be able to type :waffle: to get the waffle emoji, instead of needing to scroll through the dozens of food emojis to find it.

Hopefully we get something like this in iOS 14 in 2020. I love all of the new emojis, but I should be able to type :waffle: to get the waffle emoji, instead of needing to scroll through the dozens of food emojis to find it.
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