Turn Yourself into an Animoji with Apple's New Memoji for iOS 12

One aspect of iOS 12 that I can't wait to try out when the new operating system is released in September, is a fun new feature called Memojis. Memojis allow you to create your own Animoji, but not just any Animoji, an Animoji of yourself or any character you can dream up. Once you've created your Memoji, you can use it in FaceTime or Messages. You can create as many custom Animojis as you want, some for family, some for friends, and you can customize their features, hairstyles, accessories, and much more. Of existing iPhone models, Memojis can only be created on the iPhone X running iOS 12 since this is the only version of the iPhone to incorporate the TruDepth camera; but the new crop of iPhones, and possibly also the new iPads coming this fall will also be able to create and use Memoji. If you don't have an iPhone X and won't be purchasing one of the new iPads or iPhones, you'll still be able to receive Animoji and Memoji messages, although you won't be able to create them. If you still want some of the fun of custom Memojis, check out this article about a free emoji app. Let's go over how Memojis work, so you can be ready to make your own avatars once you update your iPhone to iOS 12.  

Related: How to Use Animojis on iPhone X (They're More Fun Than You Think!)

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emoji maker

How Do Memojis Work to Create an Animated Emoji?

The Memoji feature works by using your iPhone X's TruDepth camera and facial recognition sensors to track head movements and facial expressions, even winks and tongue movements! These movements are recorded in sync with your customized avatar, then sent via the Messages app, or used in real-time for a FaceTime conversation. After you've updated your iPhone's operating system to iOS 12 in September, you'll simply:

  • Open the Messages app.
  • Open an existing conversation or start a new one then tap on the Animoji icon (the monkey face.)

make emojicustom emoji

Next, you'll tap on the plus icon to the left of the Animoji choices; then you'll be directed through creating your first Memoji and be able to use it whenever you like in an iMessage or FaceTime.

When creating a Memoji, you'll start with a blank slate like the image below. You'll choose skin tone from a variety of natural and decidedly unnatural choices.  

emoji app

Next, you'll get to pick a hairstyle...

make your own emoji

And hair color...


Next comes head shape, then eye color and shape...


Eyebrows, nose, lips, ears...

emoji creator

and finally, facial hair (or not), eyewear, and headwear. 

how to make emojis

When you're finished creating your Memoji avatar, simply tap Done in the upper-right corner of your display. Now you'll be able to use your Memoji in Messages and Facetime, even adding extra stickers and effects.

emoji pics

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Leanne Hays is a Feature Web Writer at iPhone Life.  She loves reading and blogging, and is never without a book in her purse or an audiobook on her phone. Short-term goals include finishing painting her house and starting an aquaponics farm, long-term goals include a bike tour of Italy and writing a novel.