How to Create, Customize, and Use Memoji in Apple’s iOS 13

While Apple strives to make its mobile devices useful, it has been known to mix in a zany streak to supercharge interest in the latest OS. In recent years, the Animoji and Memoji features have fueled that trend. Animoji uses animal and other object icons (poop, for example) as primary motifs. Memoji — derived from the word me — extended Animoji features to avatars that you can create to look very much like you or someone you know, kind of like Bitmoji. With Animoji and Memoji you control what your friends and contacts see when they connect with you.

This whole Animoji madness started with the iPhone X and the debut of the Animoji feature in iOS 11. Memoji emerged in iOS 12 as a cross between Animoji and avatars, but it only worked in more recent iPhone models built with TrueDepth cameras that could mimic your facial expressions and head movements. That’s because it uses your device’s Face ID to facilitate the creation and recording of animated messages that look remarkably like you. That was a bummer for people who hung on to their older handsets. Now, with iOS 13, even if you have an older device, you too can have your very own Memoji. The following Memoji were built on an iPhone 6S.

With iOS 13, Memoji are available on older iPhones that don’t have advanced cameras by automatically generating Memoji Sticker packs that anyone can use in Messages, Mail, and third-party apps. Memoji stickers also work with Animojis so that all Memoji and Animoji get sticker packs in iOS 13 and iPadOS 13. Even though these Memojis are static, there are 24 varieties in the pack that let you customize the emotion you want to express with your avatar. The Memoji feature’s improvements in iOS 13 offer new options for skin color, facial hair, makeup, hair styles and accessories. Sliders with skin and hair controls let you create unique color combinations for your Memoji. New accessories like earrings, body piercings, eye wear, headgear, and even Apple AirPods complete your signature look.

How to make a Memoji

Creating your own Memoji is easy and fun. You can make a Memoji to look just like you, or how you wish to look. You can create Memojis of your friends. Here’s how to get started.

  • Open the Messages app on your iPhone or iPad.
  • Tap the New Message icon at the top right of the screen.
  • If you don’t see the app drawer below the message bar, tap the App Store icon to reveal the app tray.
  • Select the three-headed Memoji icon.
  • You will see various Animoji to choose from, but tap the Plus icon on the left-hand side to get a blank Memoji canvas.
  • On the first panel, get started with attributes like Skin ToneFrecklesCheeks, and Beauty Spot details. Just choose what you want. You don’t have to use everything.
  • As you continue to swipe, select from an array of hairstyles, brow styles, eye shapes and colors, head shapes and age, nose, mouth, jewelry, and more.
  • Once you get to the Headwear section, you’ll be able to rock those AirPods.

How to edit a Memoji

A Memoji is not set in pixel stone. So don’t stress if you really want to change your complexion to blue or your hair to purple with gray highlights. You can easily update the Memoji you already have.

  • Launch the Messages app.
  • Tap the New Message icon in the top right corner.
  • If the app tray is hidden, tap the App Store icon.
  • Scroll sideways to the right and select your Memoji icon.
  • Tap the Three-Dot icon to see a menu letting you update your existing Memoji or create a new one.
  • Tap Edit and scroll through the different options to change your persona to whatever you want to be.

How to use your Memoji on an iPhone with a TrueDepth camera

To use your Memoji, open the App Drawer while in the iMessage window, select the Animoji icon, and swipe through to find your Memoji. Since your Memoji mirrors your muscle movements, you want to make sure your face is in view of the camera. Once you’re ready, tap the record button in the lower left-hand corner. You can record up to 30 seconds.

Once you’re done, you can tap on the record button again to end the recording — but it will only appear if you haven’t used the full 30 seconds. You can then watch it playback once, and choose to watch it again by tapping on Replay above your Memoji. If you’re not satisfied, you can tap on the garbage can icon to delete it and try again. To send it, simply tap the blue arrow — the recipient can then play it from their iMessage window once it’s delivered, but you can choose to replay it as well by tapping on it in the message window.

You can also add your Memoji into photos you take through the camera in iMessage. Once the front-facing camera is open, you can overlay your Memoji onto your own head, snap the photo, and send it. The same goes for FaceTime — while video chatting with someone else, you can apply the Memoji to live video.

How to use your Memoji without the TrueDepth camera

Now that you’ve created your Memoji, you can use it wherever emojis are accepted and even as your photo in Contacts. Your custom Memoji stickers can be used in a variety of apps including Messages, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, Snapchat, Mail, Notes, and Reminders.

  • Set up your message or email or note.
  • Swipe to the right to reveal any frequently used Memojis.
  • Or tap the Three-Dot icon to reveal your collection of Memoji stickers and choose the new one you want to use.

Everyone will be able to see your Memoji, even your buddies on Android.

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