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iOS 12: What you need to know about the iPhone's fun new Memoji feature

If you ever wanted to create a cartoon of yourself, here's your chance.

This story is part of WWDC 2020. All the latest coverage from Apple's WWDC annual developers conference.

With the release of iOS 12, iOS devices with Face ID are gaining a fun new feature called Memoji. Currently, the list of supported devices includes the iPhone X, iPhone XS ($414 at Back Market) and iPhone XS Max ($486 at Back Market)

The Memoji feature relies on the front-facing camera's technology to create animated versions of yourself, which you can then use to creep people out, or make people laugh -- it's your call, really.

What is a Memoji?


They're a diverse bunch.


Memoji are a new type of Animoji, the animated characters that rely on the iPhone X's ($900 at Boost Mobile) front-facing camera system to bring the cartoon-like characters to life with your expressions.

Memoji have the same basic look and feel of Animoji, but instead of a dragon or a tiger, you get to design and create a human character who looks like you, or looks however you want.

Get creative

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Creating a Memoji is done in the Messages app. Open a conversation, and tap on the Animoji app icon, then tap the "+" icon. If you can't see it, scroll to the right until it shows up. 

From there, you can customize your Memoji. Options include skin color, hairstyle, head shape, eyes, brows, nose and lips, ears, facial hair, eyewear and headwear.

If you want to be mauve with a multicolored mohawk and a monocle, well, you do you. You can make as many Memoji as you want. As you adjust and edit your character, changes are reflected in real time.

What now?

Jason Cipriani/CNET

You can record 30-second video clips of your Memoji talking (or singing!) and send it in a conversation, just as you would any other Animoji.

But with the new Messages camera effects feature, you can also replace your head with a Memoji head for a photo or video. 

iOS 12: Siri shortcuts, group FaceTime, Memoji and more.

WWDC 2018: Everything Apple announced.

Update, Sept. 14: This post was originally published on June 11 and has since been updated with new information.