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Mobile Apps

App's 3D avatars let you chat, kiss, hug, eat and even puke

Rawr, a new messaging program for Apple's iPhone and iPad, lets you create avatars who do plenty more than simply talk.

rawr-app.jpg

Your avatar can travel to the moon via a new messaging app called Rawr.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

If you've ever wanted to make out with a virtual pal in a virtual world, your time has come.

Rawr, a messaging app released Thursday in Apple's App Store, offers the twist of letting you create a 3D avatar. You choose one of the app's generic avatars and then spice it up by customizing the body, face, mouth, ears, clothes and other features.

After building your avatar, you can invite friends to download Rawr for a chat. You can also chat with random strangers around the world through the app's Globetrotting feature.

Messaging has become a universal way to communicate, leading to a flood of apps such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Google's new Allo. So finding a unique niche, like the use of avatars, may be what it takes to win people over.

Rawr includes a bunch of hashtags for functions, some of them rather snarky. Typing the hashtag symbol brings up a list of tasks and commands that you can direct toward your avatar. For example, you can tell your onscreen self to kiss, hug, make out, poop, puke and even give the Vulcan salute. You can also get your avatar to express emotions, telling him or her to cry, curse, frown, giggle or chuckle.

With certain functions, you can specify what item to use. Tell your avatar to eat, and you'll see a collection of food emojis, including an apple, banana, watermelon, hamburger, taco and ice cream cone. You then add your food choice to your chat bubble, and your avatar will eat what you picked.

You can change the background locale. You can head to the beach, a bedroom, a garden, a club, the White House or the moon. You can also alter the weather so that it's raining, snowing or sunny.

The app comes with a built-in avatar named Tim Rawr who helps you learn the commands and features. Rawr currently supports only Apple iOS devices, but an Android version is slated for release later this year.