Snapchat finally reveals the iPhone X lenses it promised months ago

If you were entranced by Craig Federighi,  Apple's senior vice president of Software Engineering, showing off the new Snapchat masks on stage last September when debuting the new iPhone X then you've probably been wondering how long until you can do the same thing.

Well, that wait is over, as Snapchat has finally allowed iPhone X users to have access to three new face masks as part of its Lenses offering, so if you're on Apple's latest phone then you should be seeing these options soon.

The new face layers are a carnival mask, a Day of the Dead-like option and a shimmery gold thing that's rather gold, shimmery and resides on your face.

Said residence is enhanced by the TrueDepth camera on the front of the iPhone X, which allows for improved facial recognition and mapping, so the elements of the masks can be more closely attached to the face by logging 50 points on your lovely visage.

The carnival mask looks the most impressive, easily fooling any friends you send it to that you've gone and had your face painted for some unknown reason. The Day of the Dead option is a little more obvious, but the level of accuracy is pretty high still.

The reason for the delay is unclear, but the higher level of power needed to code these facial features through a phone is likely pretty difficult in a variety of scenes. It's fine to develop it for the dark stage of the iPhone launch, but making sure the masks don't look terrible in a variety of situations would be key before making available to users.

There have been questions in the past about how much of the data from facial mapping app developers have access to, but Apple is stating that there won't be access to the Face ID information that can identify the user, just the advanced facial mapping that allows for new features like this.

Will this be the tipping point for more apps like this, making full use of the power of the TrueDepth camera to bring more exciting AR effects from your phone? Probably not until more iPhones use the technology, but that does look to be coming soon.

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.