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How to set up and use Memojis on your iPhone

Give your emoji are more personal touch with our guide to Memoji

How to set up and use Memoji on your iPhone
(Image: © Future)

Have you seen those great little caricatures of your friends popping up all over your group conversations? These are known as Memoji, and they’re fun little ways to express yourself in more than words. They’re essentially customizable Animoji, and can take the form of animated recordings or simple stickers.

To create an Animoji, you’ll need compatible hardware. On iPhone, that’s essentially anything after the iPhone X (so the iPhone X, XR, XS (and Max) and 11, 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max), while only the latest 2018 iPad Pro’s offer this functionality - both the 12.9 and 11-inch versions. This is because it relies on the Face ID sensor and tech found on these devices to be able to track facial expressions and mannerisms. If you’ve got Face ID, you’re good to go.

After that? The process is not only simple, but it’s really fun - allowing you to capture your own unique style to share with your friends. This is how to set up Memoji on your iPhone or iPad.

1. Open messages

(Image credit: Apple / TechRadar)

Head into your Messages app, and navigate to a thread or start a new one. On the app toolbar below where you would type a message (just above the keyboard), you’ll find plenty of icons. To get started, tap the Animoji button - the one with the little monkey’s face on it. 

2. Add a Memoji

You’ll be presented with a stream of animal faces, but try not to get distracted (as fun as they are). You’ll notice they’ll mimic your face - smile! Swipe to the left of the animal faces, though, and you’ll see an option for a new Memoji - with a big “Plus” button. Press that to add a fresh face, and the fun begins.

3. Get creative

From here, you’ll be presented with plenty of options. You can alter your skin tone, freckles and any beauty spots on page one, and then there are options for hair, head shape, facial hair and more. Simply tap your option, and watch as your Memoji comes to life before your very eyes - even matching your expressions. 

4. It's all in the details

(Image credit: Apple / TechRadar)

Don’t forget to get into the granularities of your Memoji - the toolset for creation is much deeper than you may think. For example, I wear black piercings - but the closest here are silver ones. Thankfully, you can tap any colour to adjust the brightness of it, therefore turning them all the way down to black - as you can see below.

5. Get sharing

Hit “Done” in the top right corner, and hey presto - you’ve got a Memoji! Now you can record animations using your face just by pressing the red record button in the bottom right corner. Once you’re done, you can send it to your friends, or delete it and try again.

6. Stick around for Stickers

(Image credit: Apple / TechRadar)

That’s not all you can do now. If you head to your usual Emoji keyboard, you’ll find you now have Memoji stickers to the left. These aren’t animated, but offer some unique expressions - look how cute the “mind blown” one looks. If you hit the “...” button, you’ll find even more to send.

7. “Who’s Hiding Under That Mask?”

Finally, there’s one more fun trick you can do with your Memoji. If you make a FaceTime call via video, press “effects” and select your Memoji to wear the digital you like a mask. It’ll track your movements and expressions too, and while it’s a little unsettling at first because of the sheer size of the thing, it’s good for some fun, too.