iPhone Emoji Apps Back In App Store, Someone Probably Rejoices

The battle over enabling Japanese emoticons on iPhone has been a strangely passionate one. First they're there, then they're gone, but now they're there despite having been told to be gone. What the hell, Emojis?

I'm not even going to try to decode what the latest turn means, in terms of App Store policy and the efficacy of Apple's vetting process, so here's what matters to you, the guy who desperately wants to be able to utilize the same emotio-visual shorthand as Japan's schoolchildren: Emoji is back!

The timeline of their return is confusing. When Apple issued their purge order back in February, the apps did seem to get pulled. But it looks as though a few apps with hidden Emoji-enabling abilities (type a number here, press this button, press another, check your keyboard settings, etc) started popping up just a few days later. But more brazen apps, including some that we've seen before, show release dates dotted throughout March. So I guess they're allowed? Dunno! I somehow doubt Apple would deign to make a public announcement about lifting a ban on an esoteric half-feature that only works in very specific circumstances. —Thanks, Corey!