Emoji Names is an iOS app I first wrote back in 2015. It shows you the Unicode name of any given Emoji, with immersive full-screen animations. This is the first big update for Emoji Names, bringing several new features that make the app feel a lot more useful.

New Features

  • Share Emoji - The biggest new feature in Emoji Names is that you can share customizable images of each Emoij! You can set a custom background color, choose to show or hide the emoji’s name, and toggle the emoji style between Apple’s images and Twitter’s vectors. This feature is the spiritual successor to Emojicon, one of my older apps that I recently removed from the App Store.

  • Paste Emoji - I got the suggestion for this feature from Nate and I thought it was a really cool idea — you can now copy a message in some other app, like iMessage, and then paste it into Emoji Names. The app will detect any emoji in the message and show you their name! This is pretty useful when somebody sends you an emoji you don’t recognize.

  • Twitter Emoji - Emoji Names also supports an entirely new Emoji style, Twemoji (Twitter’s open source Emoji art pack)! This was born more out of necessity than desire, though. Apple has cracked down on the use of their Emoji art in App Store screenshots. It’s pretty difficult to make marketing materials for an Emoji app without showing any Emoji, so I decided to add Twemoji support into the app. They come as .svg vectors, meaning they’re significantly higher-res than Apple’s system Emoji font.

Art for the sake of Art

Emoji Names is a nice little app, but it doesn’t really get that many users. It doesn’t do very well in App Store search results, both because “Emoji” is a pretty crowded search team and because it just isn’t the kind of app people are searching for. I’ve been experimenting with a $0.99 price tag and using paid Search Ads to increase the audience, but I haven’t gotten great results there (a cost-per-install of $5.50 isn’t economically viable for a $0.99 app).

I didn’t make Emoji Names with the expectation that it would be especially popular. I think it’s perfectly reasonable to make an app purely for the joy of creating something “good”. All of my first apps were built for fun, and I like to think it shows making apps can still be just as much my “hobby” as it can be my full-time job.

You can check out Emoji Names on the App Store.