We called tracfone and of course they blamed my phone. Did some stuff, still said it's my phone. Called AT&T. They spent over 20 min first time with me checking everything, couldn't figure it out. Said tech-support would call me back on a land line when my friend and I were together with both phones. They called when they said they would. Spent another 36 minutes trying everything, deleting contacts, sending messages back and forth. Still could not receive my texts on the tracfone. Reset the tracfone, reset my phone. Still no good. This started about 5 days ago. Before that the tracfone could receive my texts. I was really impressed with AT&T customer service and tech support. Although they could not fix the problem they were courteous, patient and very professional. They did say they could not see any texts between me and the tracfone for the last 5 days. Even though I was receiving texts from it. They suggested I call tracfone again and ask them about message routing on their system. I called tracfone and got the same story. As long as the phone received any text it wasn't their problem. My friend is going to see if they can return it. They bought it about 6 weeks ago.
Only other iPhones can see Emoji characters in texts. It says this in the description of every Emoji app in the App Store.
Some SMS apps (like biteSMS for jailbroken phones) have smilies encoded in ASCII that other phones can interpret, but unfortunately, Emoji is strictly iPhone to iPhone only.
I know this doesn't solve the problem but I consider tracfones good for only calling and talking to people. It doesn't fit in the right category of a "texting phone" to me in the first place. I remember my family purchasing a few of these when they came in town to visit me and not one of them considered texting because of the nature and look of it. I just don't think they were ever really meant for texting a lot. For those wishing to text, I would recommend another pay-as-you-go phone that caters to texting more exclusively than tracfone does.