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How to use iOS 12's fun new Memoji feature

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

Screenshot by Stephen Shankland/CNET

When Apple announced Memoji, an outstanding new feature in iOS 12, during the company's developer conference in June, even Tim Cook had one.

Now that the Memoji feature is available to anyone with an iPhone X, iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max running iOS 12, expect to see these fun (and sometimes creepy) faces to show up in messages from friends. Here's your complete guide to Memoji. 

What is a Memoji?

ios12-apple-memoji-06042018

They're a diverse bunch.

Apple.

Memoji are a new type of Animoji, the animated characters that rely on the iPhone X's ($820 at Amazon Marketplace) 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

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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?

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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 just announced.