large image

Trusted Reviews is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

Google wants you to turn your face into a sticker for Gboard

The trouble with emoji is that very few of us look like the caricatures we punctuate our instant messages with. If you’ve been itching for a more personalised experience, Google is rolling out an answer right now in new versions of its own Gboard keyboard for Android and iOS.

Called Mini Stickers, the new feature takes a selfie and generates a cartoon version of your face in seconds. The program takes into account a variety of characteristics including skin tone, face shape and eye colour, and then creates a (hopefully not too insulting) version of your fizzog using machine learning and neural networks.

Related: Best Android apps

Your cartoon doppelganger is then generated into 100 stickers that can be plastered across your messages at will – more than enough to ensure they comfortably cross that line from ‘cute’ to ‘irritating’.

If the feature looks familiar to you, then perhaps you used Google Allo – the discontinued chat program that Google unveiled in 2016. Now that Allo is dead, Google seems to be grabbing the best bits and redistributing them to its apps that still maintain a following.

While Gboard is getting Mini Stickers, it looks like Google Assistant features may be being repurposed for Android Messages.

For now, I’m not seeing the option on either of the Android phones within reach, but it should be rolling out to iOS and Android in the next couple of days. In the meantime, here’s an animation from Google showing how it should work when it finally lands.

Six different colored Beats Solo Pro headphones standing on white backgroundAmerican rapper Pharrell Williams standing on white background wearing red Beats Solo Pro headphones

Related: Best Android keyboard

Did that spin through too quickly for you? Basically, it looks like you need to tap the emoji button next to the space bar, select the square with a face, tap on the mini icon and hit create. Then take a picture, let Google’s AI do its magic and then start bugging your friends with your avatar at all hours of the day and night.

Have Mini Stickers landed on your phone yet? Let us know on Twitter @TrustedReviews.

Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2004, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have millions of users a month from around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

author icon

Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

author icon

Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.