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How to Unlock the Hidden Spock Emoji on Your iPhone

Did you know that Mr. Spock actually has his own Spock emoji on your iPhone? More specifically, the iconic hand-gesture resembling the Vulcan greeting “live long and prosper!” has been integrated into iOS since version 8.3 for you to discover. There is a catch though, you will have to enable it through a trick, since it does not appear in the list of regular emoji.

Spock Emoji: How to enable it

Be sure to have at least version 8.3 of iOS installed (check in the “Settings” app’s info tab!), otherwise this won’t work. Depending on your iOS version you either find the spock emoji in your keybord or you will have to copy the emoji from a tweet or website in order to add it to your iPhone. Tap and hold the below Spock hand in your iPhone browser to select it, then hit “Copy” to add it to your clipboard.

Spock Emoji: Copy here

While tapping and holding the above emoji, the hand symbol should be covered by a blue overlay that allows you to define the borders of your selection. A context menu including these two options will pop up:

How to add the Spock Emoji to your Keyboard

Settings → General → Keyboards → Shortcuts

In order to save the Vulcan greeting to your iPhone, we’ll need to make use of a clever workaround. Open up your “Settings” app and select “General” then “Keyboards” and finally “Shortcuts” from the menu.

This feature is actually meant to speed up typing, here we can enter short sequences of letters that will expand to full sentences or phone numbers and other kinds of information that is usually inconvenient to type.

Here’s the trick: We’ll use the iOS keyboard “Shortcut” feature. Select the “Phrase” field and long-press within it to bring up the context menu. Tap “Paste” to add the previously copied Spock Emoji. Now define a custom phrase that will trigger the Vulcan salute upon typing it, I used :spock as a trigger.

From now on, every time you’ll type :spock into text fields within an app (note the preceding colon, which is not required although helpful), the iPhone will convert it to the special emoji defined in this settings panel. Don’t forget to save your changes!