If you’ve already tired of iOS 11’s animated fox heads and unicorns, fear not – Apple is bringing new virtual versions of your own face called ‘Memojis’ to the Messages app in iOS 12.
That’s right, rather than mapping animal faces onto your facial expressions using your iPhone X’s TrueDepth camera, you’ll now be able to create a virtual version of your own mug in various guises, Apple announced during WWDC 2018.
To make one, you’ll simply need to press the ‘+’ symbol in the Animoji section of the Messages app, then start creating your likeness by choosing from various options including skin colour, hairstyles and eye colour.
You’ll also be able to add accessories including earrings and sunglasses, before saving your digital face into your Animojis ‘team’.
Not that the Animojis have settled for being overshadowed by their new human counterparts – in iOS 12 you’ll find new options including a koala, T-Rex and friendly ghost.
And in news that has shaken the Animoji world to its core, Apple has also introduced ‘tongue detection’ to help give your cartoon likeness an extra dash of colour.
To catch up on previous news about Apple’s Animojis read our report from WWDC 2017 below…
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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