Emojis are a great way of adding a bit of oomph to a message. Whether you want to express adoration, mischief, or (very important) let someone know that a sassy-sounding text is all in good fun, they help make your texts more expressive. If a picture can tell a thousand words, then surely an emoji can tell … five perhaps?
But for a couple of years now, Google’s official keyboard interface for Android phones, Gboard, has made it possible to super-charge your emojis using little tricks known as emoji intensification and emoji combos. Here we show you how to use these to add some crazy to your texts.
How to Get Gboard
Phones running the stock version of Android should come with Gboard integrated and ready to use. To check whether you have it, go to “Settings -> System -> Languages & input -> Virtual keyboard,” and tap Gboard if it’s there to make it your default keyboard app.
If you don’t have it, you can download Gboard at the Play Store, then set it as your default keyboard app.
Now that you have Gboard, you can start dabbling with your emojis. The important thing to do here is to make sure that you’re using Gboard’s emojis and not those of whichever app you’re using.
In WhatsApp, for example, tapping the emoji icon just to the left of the message box will use WhatsApps’s emoji library, which has nothing on what Gboard has to offer.
Say you’re texting someone in WhatsApp. To use Gboard emojis, bring up the keyboard, then hold the emoji icon in the bottom-left corner.
You should see the Gboard emoji library now. To intensify an emoji, tap the emoji you want, and a selection of giant intensified emojis will pop up above the keyboard. Just tap the one you like (or drag to the left to see more).
Best Emoji Combos
Now for the really fun stuff: emoji combos. Gboard has a huge collection of secret intensified emojis that it generates when you type two standard emojis right next to each other. Some are pretty obvious, while others are completely wild. Here are some of our favorites.
Double-tapping the “cold” emoji will bring up a giant icicle.
Poop and a pig? Why Poopa Pig, of course! I tried the poop with other animals, but sadly it doesn’t work for all of them. (To be fair, the wordplay opportunities offered by this one are excellent.)
For when you really need to keep a secret, the zip-mouth and “shhh” emojis should do the job.
You can mix pretty much anything with the puking emoji, including the sun. (You know, for when you’re sick of the sun? Or maybe sun-stroke?)
You can mix foodstuffs into the combos as well, with one of my absolute favorites being this rather judgemental hotdog.
They don’t need to involve faces at all if you so wish. Why not cook up a firestorm?
Or express your concern about global warming with an emoji?
These are just examples of the weird and wonderful emojis that Gboard can create for you. Get creative with it, try different things, and see what you discover. Even if you don’t think that coffee and hot dogs go together, you may just find that Gboard will find a way.