Apple Purging App Store Of Every Last Emoticon Enabler

Developers who've either made a dedicated emoji-enabler or included the functionality as a feature in their apps have received notification that they need to stop with this Japanese smiley stuff, like, now.

Here it is, summarized by one of the guys who makes TypingGenius:

As of today, Apple has informed us that they are now removing any trace of emoji from the App Store. This means:
- All new apps related to emoji will be rejected in the review process
- Existing apps that do not provide additional functionality will be pulled from the App Store (e.g. Emotifun, iEmoji pulled already)
- Existing apps that DO provide additional functionality (e.g. Typing Genius) will be required to provide an update to Apple immediately

Not included, at least by our tipster, is an official explanation for the sudden emoji crackdown. They're fun! However, a case can be made for keeping phones like this within regional standards. I mean, how many of the tens of thousands of people who installed these emoticons on their phones did so with the full knowledge that around here, only up-to-date iPhones could even receive them? This confusion, I'd guess, is what Apple is trying to avoid, though they may be acting with a heavy hand.

The TypingGenius guy says that his crippled update hasn't been processed by the App Store's High Council, or whatever, and that it won't remove previously installed unlocks. It's a nice promise, but in the long run this pretty much looks like the end of the road for (non-jailbroken) emoji fun. —Thanks, Gary!