Apple’s Animoji could work on iPhone 8 handsets, but Cupertino held back the feature because it wouldn’t work very well on anything other than the iPhone X.
For those who don’t know, Animoji are animated emojis that use the TrueDepth camera system found in the screen notch on the iPhone X to accurately map a user’s facial expressions to emojis such as fox heads and cartoon poos.
Apple reportedly told YouTuber Marques Brownlee that it could power Animoji’s using the front-facing camera found on the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, thanks to the processing power provided by the phone’s A11 Bionic chip.
Update: Talked to Apple about Animoji: It does actually use data from the IR and depth sensors for better accuracy. Apple told me they wouldn’t want a worse Animoji experience for other iPhones without those sensors. Props to @reneritchie for this article: https://t.co/Yml7SQ54Eq
— Marques Brownlee (@MKBHD) November 15, 2017
However, given Animojis work well due to periodically blasting a user’s face with IR beams to more accurately track their movements, the lack of TrueDepth on the iPhone 8 handsets would mean Animojis would probably work in a very sloppy manner, something which doesn’t fit with Apple’s slick software design ethos.
Questions about the need for the TrueDepth sensors for Animojis cropped up when it was discovered the feature still worked when the IR scanner was covered, but this is only because the IR scanner does not need to be used constantly to deliver decent results with the Animoji feature.
So it’s not likely that Apple will push out Animoji for any other iOS devices anytime soon; if next generation iPads have a TrueDepth sensor then perhaps Animojis could come to them.
But for the time being if you want to send your friends messages of you as a talking cartoon unicorn then you’ll have to stump up the £999 for an iPhone X.
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