How to Use Animoji on the iPhone X

There's no better way to show that you've got an iPhone X (and your friends don't) than by sending them Animoji messages. Of course, Animoji is more than just a way to establish your iPhone power use bona fides — it's also a way for iPhone X users to add more pizzazz to convesations in Messages.

Animoji is an app inside Messages that lets you send animated images of 12 emoji-styled characters. The clever thing is that, using the iPhone X's face detection software, the facial expressions of the animated emoji characters match your own. You become the emoji!

MORE: 26 Awesome Hidden iOS 11 Features

Here's how to use Animoji on the iPhone X.


Open Messages and tap on the Animoji app

The only place to make Animoji is in the Messages app. Launch Messages and then look at the text-input area at the bottom of the screen. If the keyboard is currently showing, you'll need to tap on the Apps icon, just to the left of the text-input area.

If the keyboard's not visible, you should see a small strip of apps icons at the bottom of the screen. These are your Messages apps, including sticker packs (introduced in iOS 10), the Music app, Digital Touch, and more. The icon for Animoji is the face of a monkey. Tap it to enter the Animoji app.

Choose your character

Down the left side of the Animoji app is a scrolling list of all the Animoji characters available to you. There are 12: monkey, robot, cat, puppy, alien, fox, poop, pig, panda, bunny, chicken and unicorn. Tap one and it will replace the current face being displayed in the main Animoji area.

Expand for a full-screen view

By default Animoji works in the bottom third of the screen, below your conversations. To go full screen, tap the expansion arrow at the very top of the Animoji area, right below the text-entry field. The screen will fill with all 12 Animoji icons as well as a larger stage for your currently selected Animoji.

Hold your phone up and pose

Once you launch the Animoji app, you'll need to be sure you're holding your phone so that the front-facing camera can see your face. Then you can pose and see your facial expressions reflected in the animated character on the screen.

Apple has done a remarkable job of mapping different facial expressions to different parts of the characters, so you may discover that the expression you're giving is reflected somewhat differently by your Animoji character. (For example, if you puff out your cheeks while the robot is selected, his ears will pop out of his head.)

Record a 10-second video message

The most common way to share an Animoji is to record a 10-second video message. To begin recording, tap the red dot in the bottom left corner of the Animoji window. You'll see a timed countdown beginning at 10 seconds. You can tap the button again to stop recording, if you're done before 10 seconds pass.

Once you're done, you'll immediately see your Animoji message played back to you. If you hate it, tap the trash can icon on the right side of the screen. If you want to see it again, tap the replay icon. If you want to send it to the person you're currently talking to, tap the blue send icon. (People without iMessage will get a link to a video file.)

Change the Animoji you used after you record

If you like the recording you made, but want to try it on other Animoji characters, you can do that. After recording, just pick a different character from the menu on the left and the video will play again — with the new character's face.

Send a sticker

Videos aren't the only way to share Animoji. Every Animoji face can be a still image that you can send to a friend. To send a still, just tap on the Animoji face on the screen when you're posing, and that image will be inserted in your message. You can also tap and drag the face out of the Animoji window and drop it anywhere on your conversation as a sticker.

Save your Animoji videos for later.

If you find one of your videos especially hilarious — or want to use it elsewhere — you can save it as a video file. Just tap and hold on the Animoji video until a menu appears, and then tap on Save. The video is added to your Camera Roll, so it'll sync to all your devices and be available anywhere.

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