Memoji turns you into an Apple Animoji in iOS update

Stop using AR to turn into a piece of poop and show your true self in Animoji.

Alfred Ng Senior Reporter / CNET News
Alfred Ng was a senior reporter for CNET News. He was raised in Brooklyn and previously worked on the New York Daily News's social media and breaking news teams.
Alfred Ng
2 min read

You can now customize your own Animojis with Apple's Memoji on iOS 12.


You're not limited to being a robot or a poop emoji anymore -- now Apple lets you make your own Animoji, calling it "Memoji." 

At its annual Worldwide Developers Conference in San Jose, California, on Monday, Apple announced new features coming to Animoji, its hit augmented reality feature that let you put a digital mask over your face in iMessage.

When Apple first introduced Animoji alongside the iPhone X, the only device it's available for because of its front-facing True Depth camera, there weren't many character options. People were limited to Animoji like cats, dogs, and a poop. 

Apple has expanded the feature in iOS 12, with new Animoji likes ghosts, tigers and koalas. But the possibilities are almost endless with Memoji, which lets you customize your own digital masks to whatever you would like. 

"We wanted to take Animoji even further," Craig Federighi, Apple's senior vice president of Software Engineering, said on stage at WWDC. "You can now create your very own, personalized Animoji."

Apple CEO Tim Cook appears as a memoji -- an animoji AR self-portrait -- in a Group FaceTime chat at WWDC 2018.
Watch this: Apple unveils Memoji for iOS 12

The face-tracking feature follows your movements, so when you smile or raise your eyebrows, so will the Animoji. Apple also showed off a new tongue-tracking feature and extended Animoji to FaceTme chats. 

"We're all going to be sticking out our tongues to our phones in the near future," Federighi said.  

Apple's update for iOS 12 joins the race in customized emoji, a popular feature that companies like Samsung and Snap are both chasing. Samsung launched AR Emoji last March for the Galaxy S9, which uses your front facing camera to automatically create a 3D emoji. 

In 2016, Snap bought Bitmoji, another custom emoji company, for $64 million.

Here are the biggest iOS 12 features Apple announced at WWDC 2018

See all photos

Originally published at 11:04 a.m. PT. 
Update, 11:12 a.m. PT:
To include more details about Animoji.