Unlocking your iPhone isn’t the only function of the True Depth camera on it. In 2017, Apple revealed animated emojis, or Animojis, would launch alongside iOS 11. This technology used the camera to bring some familiar emojis to life by mimicing your expressions and movements. But that was only the start.
With later releases, Apple’s Memojis took this to a whole new level by allowing you to create your own animated emojis. Not only is this a chance to create a cartoon likeness of yourself, but you can bring them to life just like regular Animojis.
So let’s take a look at how Memojis work!
Which iPhones Support Memojis?
If you can use Animojis on your iPhone, you can also use Memojis. Initially, only iPhones equipped with a True Depth camera, starting with the iPhone X, could use the technology. But with iOS 13 or later, anyone using an iPhone 8 or below can also use Memojis.
Even though the animated messages are part of iMessage, “green-bubble friends” with Android devices can still receive Memojis as an image or a video.
How to Create a Memoji on Your iPhone
You create a Memoji in the same place you can record Animoji messages: the Messages app. Here’s how:
- In the Messages app, tap on an existing conversation, or tap the Compose icon to open a New Message window.
- Tap the Apps icon next to the text box.
- Select the Memoji icon with a camera focus symbol.
- Scroll to the left. Tap the New Memoji button.
Here, you’ll be able to create a Memoji in your likeness. As you make changes, you’ll see your adjustments appear in real time. Try your new Memoji on for size by pulling a few faces.
There are 12 separate categories to edit. In each category, you can find a variety of customization options:
- Skin: Includes skin color options, with a slider for fine-tuning. You can even choose gray skin, a nice Shrek green, or red for when you’re feeling particularly angry. You can also add freckles, some cheek color, and a beauty spot.
- Hairstyle: You can pick from natural color shades and add highlights too. These aren’t separated by gender, which goes for every option in the Memoji creator.
- Brows: Customize your brow shape, thickness, and color. This category also lets you add brow piercings and a forehead mark.
- Eyes: Basic eye color and eyelash adjustment options. As subtle makeup, you can add eyeliner and eyeshadow as well. If you have heterochromia, you can choose to edit your Memoji’s eyes separately, to match your real-life self!
- Head: Contains options for aging and head shape.
- Nose: Choose from three nose sizes and, if you want, add piercings.
- Mouth: Here you can customize the lips, teeth, and tongue. There are different lip colors and shapes to pick from. For teeth, don’t be afraid to embrace braces or teeth gaps! You can also add mouth and tongue piercings.
- Ears: Three sizes of ears. You can add different earrings to each ear and adjust the color of your jewelry. There’s also the option to add AirPods or hearing aids.
- Facial Hair: Includes sideburns, lots of beards, stubble, and mustaches, plus the option of natural or not-so-natural coloring.
- Eyewear: You have plenty of glasses styles to choose from. You can adjust the frame color and lens color too (and adjust opacity, so you can still see your eyes underneath if you want).
- Headgear: Choose between all manner of hats, beanies, helmets, and religious garments in different shades.
- Clothing: If you feel a floating head Memoji looks odd, you can give it arms and a torso by adding clothing. However, only Memoji stickers will display them.
You can flick back and forth to tweak your creation until you’re happy, then tap Done in the top-right corner of the screen to finish. Your Memoji will be saved to the Memoji list, along with the other Animojis.
Have some extra time after creating your Memoji? Check out more cool things you can do with your iPhone iMessage apps.
How to Send Memoji Messages
With an arsenal of likenesses at your disposal, you can send Memoji messages in the same way you send regular Animojis. Launch the Messages app, compose a new message or tap on an existing conversation, then tap the App icon. Find the Memoji button above the keyboard then choose your likeness.
There are three main ways to send your Memoji to other people. You can snap a Memoji selfie, record a video, or use the Memoji stickers generated by your iPhone.
Send a Memoji Photo
You can send a single, still image of your Memoji making a particular expression. Make a face, then simply tap on your Memoji. This adds the image to the text box, where you can type a comment below and hit Send. This will work with both iMessage and Android users, since iOS sends the Memoji as an image.
Record a Memoji Video
You can tap the Record button once to record a message up to 30 seconds long, then tap it again to finish your recording. You can also hold down the Record button for the length of your recording if you prefer.
After you’ve recorded a message, swipe left and right to use it on other Memoji or Animoji. Tap Replay to review your video. Keep in mind that sound is included in the recording. Once you’re satisfied, tap the blue arrow icon to upload the video, and hit Send.
To record longer videos that keep your real-life background and superimpose the Memoji on your face, check out our guide on how to record a Memoji video on your iPhone. Similarly, if you intend to use FaceTime, see how Memoji can be a cool effect to add to your FaceTime calls.
Use Memoji Sticker Packs
Another way is to use your new Memoji is with sticker packs. These are automatically generated by your iPhone once you create your Memoji. You can send a Memoji sticker via the Messages app or other third-party messaging apps.
In the iMessage app list above your keyboard, tap the Stickers button (the icon shows a Memoji with heart eyes). Tap and drag a Memoji sticker up into the conversation, then release it over a message or image you want to stick it to. You can pinch with a free finger to enlarge or shrink the sticker if you want.
Unfortunately, only Apple users will be able to view your sticker when you send it using the above method. To send a Memoji sticker to an Android user, tap on the sticker once so that it uploads as an image. Then, tap Send.
In third-party apps such as WhatsApp, tap on the text box to bring up your keyboard. Tap the Emoji button. Scroll to the far left to access your frequently used Memojis and Animojis. Tap the ellipsis icon for the complete sticker pack. Then tap on your preferred sticker to send it instantly. You can’t change the size of the sticker with this method.
How to Edit, Duplicate, Delete, or Create More Memojis
To edit a Memoji, find an existing Memoji in your list and tap the ellipsis button in the bottom-left corner to bring up three options: Edit, Duplicate, and Delete.
Tap Duplicate to quickly clone your Memoji before making changes, or directly tap Edit to make small adjustments. Try adding a version of yourself wearing sunglasses or different eyewear. Remember: there’s no need to be completely true to life here. Apple added this feature for fun, so experiment and see what you can come up with.
If there’s a Memoji you no longer want, just choose Delete when presented with the three options. There will be a prompt asking for confirmation. Select Delete to remove your Memoji.
You can create as many Memojis as you like. Simply revisit the app menu any time, select the Memoji icon, and tap the New Memoji button to start working on a new one.
Memojis Are Like Animojis, But Better
It’s hilarious to transform into a monkey, shark, or dinosaur and see them mimic your expressions through Animojis. But Memojis make messages even more fun with their wide range of customization options.
Some message effects are for Apple users only. But in the case of Memojis, Android users can see them too, so you don’t have to worry about your family and friends feeling left out.