How to Create and Use Memoji and Animoji on an iPhone

Presentation of Memoji on an iPhone Xs Max.Hadrian / Shutterstock.com

When you think of fun camera filters, Snapchat is probably the first app that comes to mind. But did you know that you can create your own interactive avatars using your iPhone or iPad?

You can use Memoji and Animoji to send funny stickers to your friends or to dress up in a FaceTime call. Thanks to iOS 13, Memoji is now available on all iPhones and iPads running the latest software, even if they don’t have a Face ID camera. Here’s how it works.

What are Memoji and Animoji?

The term Memoji is a suitcase of the words “me” and “emoji” that takes the form of an avatar that you can use to personalize messages on Apple mobile devices. Any device running iOS 13 or iPadOS can create and use a Memoji. If you have an iPhone X or newer, you can animate your Memoji using the Face ID sensors on the front of your device. It also works with iPads, assuming you have an 11-inch iPad Pro or 12.9-inch iPad Pro (third generation or newer).

Using Memoji in iMessage using Face ID

Likewise, Animoji is a fusion of the words “animated” and “emoji” that works on devices running iOS 11 or later with a Face ID sensor. There is a small selection of Animoji to choose from depending on the static emoji included with iOS. Thanks to the sensors on the front of your device, you can manipulate Animoji by changing your expression, winking, sticking out your tongue or turning your head.

Animoji and Memoji can be used in iOS in Messages as stickers or videos, during FaceTime calls to animate a boring conversation, and even in third-party apps and messaging services.

How to create a personalized memoji

Custom Memoji avatars should be created via the Messages app, which is where you are most likely to get the most out of them:

Open Messages and select a conversation, or tap the New message button at the top of the screen.
Press the “Stickers” button in the row of symbols above the keyboard (if you can’t see a row of symbols, press the “A” App Store button next to the camera icon) .
Tap the ellipsis icon “…” on the left side, then choose “New Memoji” from the list of options.

On devices with Face ID (including iPhone X or later), your Memoji will be animated and respond to the movements of your head and face. On devices with Touch ID, your Memoji will be static for now, but you can use expressive stickers later.

Create a Memoji in iOS 13

Now create your Memoji from scratch using the included commands. First, customize the complexion and facial features, then swipe left to adjust the hairstyle, eyebrows, eyes, head, nose, mouth, ears, facial hair, glasses and headgear. None of the styles or features are gender specific. You will not even be asked to select a gender.

When you’re done, tap Done in the upper-right corner of the screen, and your avatar will be added to the list of available Memoji (and, on compatible devices, Animoji).

How to modify an existing memoji

To modify an avatar that you have already created:

Open Messages and select a conversation, or tap the New message button at the top of the screen.
Press the “Stickers” button in the row of symbols above the keyboard (if you can’t see a row of symbols, press the “A” App Store button next to the camera icon) .
Find the Memoji you want to modify by scrolling horizontally, then press it to select it.
Tap the ellipsis “…” icon to display a list of options, then choose Edit.
Make the changes you want by browsing through the different categories, then tap Done to save your changes.

Edit, duplicate or delete existing memos

You can also use this menu to delete or duplicate an existing Memoji. You may want to duplicate an emoji if you want to make serious changes to your appearance, without starting from scratch or destroying your previous creation.

Using Memoji (or Animoji) in iMessage

If you have a modern device with Face ID, you can use Memoji to create expressive stickers that reflect your own expression. On your iPhone X or later, or iPad Pro with Face ID:

Open Messages and select a conversation, or tap the New message button at the top of the screen.
Press the “Animoji” button in the row of symbols above the keyboard (if you can’t see a row of symbols, press the “A” App Store button next to the camera icon) .
Swipe left and right until you see the Memoji or Animoji you want to use.
Have fun now! Change your expression, move around and pull a face to get a feel for your new avatar.

At this point, you have three options:

Press the “Record” button in the lower right corner to record a short message of 30 seconds or less. When you let go, your animation and your message repeat. You can then tap the up arrow in the lower right corner to send your video.
Make a facial expression, then tap your Memoji to capture a still image. This image will be added to the message field and you can type a message or press the up arrow to send it.
Make a facial expression, then long press your Memoji to grab a sticker. Drag the sticker over the image or message you want to cover. You can also pinch to zoom or rotate your sticker.

Using Memoji with Face ID in iMessage

If you don’t have an iPhone or iPad with Face ID, you can use Memoji as stickers instead. On your iPhone 8 or earlier, or iPad Pro without Face ID:

Open Messages and select a conversation, or tap the New message button at the top of the screen.
Press the “Stickers” button in the row of symbols above the keyboard (if you can’t see a row of symbols, press the “A” App Store button next to the camera icon) .
Select the Memoji you want to use from the list.

You now have two options available:

Find the phrase you want to use, and then tap it to send it as an image. You can type a message before sending, then press the up arrow to send the message.
Long press the sticker, and then drag it into the conversation. Release your finger on everything you want to stick on the sticker: a message, a video, an image, etc. You can also pinch to zoom or rotate your sticker with a second finger.

Using Memoji on a device without a Face ID

Using Memoji (and Animoji) in FaceTime

Once you have created a Memoji, you can use it during FaceTime calls as a Snapchat filter provided you have an iPhone X or later, an 11-inch iPad Pro or a 12.9-inch iPad Pro (third generation). In other words, if your device supports Face ID, you can use this feature.

To use Memoji or Animoji during a FaceTime call:

Make a video call using FaceTime, using the FaceTime app, or through contacts.
Once the call is launched, tap the Star icon labeled “Effects” in the lower left corner.
Select the Memoji or Animoji you want to use.
Press the “X” button to deactivate the effects.

Using Memoji in other applications

You can also use Memoji stickers in other applications, thanks to the Emoji keyboard. This includes apps like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Slack. Here’s how:

Launch the app you want to use and start a message or conversation so that the iOS keyboard appears on the screen.
Press the Emoji button in the lower left corner (if more than one keyboard is installed, you will have to scroll through them until you find the Emoji keyboard).
Swipe right to reveal your frequently used Memoji stickers.
Choose a sticker from this list or tap the ellipsis icon (“…”) to reveal the full set of stickers. Tap a sticker to add it to your message where it will be sent as an image attachment.

Use Memoji in other iOS apps

Does Memoji work with Android?

If you send a Memoji or Animoji sticker to a friend via a messenger like WhatsApp, he will see your sticker as an attachment to the image, regardless of the device on which he is viewing it. That means you can still use Memoji stickers with Android users if you want, but you’ll miss the Face ID features or the ability to position your sticker anywhere in the chat like you do with iMessage.

RELATED: The best new features in iOS 13, available now

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