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Why Apple's Animoji Could Come to Other iPhones (Updated)

Updated at 6:43 pm ET with more information on how Animoji works.

Apple's Animoji feature has quickly become a favorite among iPhone X users who want to send something unique to their friends and family. But why isn't finding its way to other Apple handsets?

Marques Brownlee, who recently reviewed the iPhone X and its Animoji feature on YouTube, said today that there's nothing special inside Apple's latest smartphone that forces you to use it for Animoji functions. Instead, it appeared that the feature only required the front-facing camera to work -- something you can find in any iPhone currently on the market.

As reported by BGR, Brownlee activated the Animoji feature and covered up all the sensors save for the front-facing camera. The result? The Animoji worked perfectly.

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The findings suggested that Apple could have offered Animoji on any of its new handsets, and could have made it a feature inside iOS 11.

In a subsequent update, Brownlee, who spoke to Apple, found that the Animoji uses the iPhone X's infrared and depth sensors to improve the quality of the Animoji. The feature is technically possible in other iPhones, but in a bid to make the experience as good as it can get, Apple is limiting it to the iPhone X. iMore has more helpful information on how Animoji works.

Animoji was announced alongside the iPhone X at the smartphone's unveiling in September. The feature allows you to choose from a variety of digital characters and speak into your iPhone. The iPhone X analyzes your facial movements and replicates them in the animation. The iPhone also records your voice. The result is a Pixar-like animation you can send to friends and family.

Apple pitched the Aniomji as a feature for its iPhone X. And so far, the feature has only been offered on its latest handset.

The iPhone 8 is running the same A11 Bionic chip as iPhone X and comes with nearly identical components. The Face ID function is the major difference, and is powered in part by the TrueDepth, as well as sensors around the lens.

Ultimately, it's impossible to know for sure whether Animoji would work well on older iPhones. But looking ahead, there's a good chance the feature will be available on future iPhones.