Released with the iOS 11 version of the mobile Apple operating system, an Animoji is an animated emoji that is controlled using facial expressions. It is a portmanteau of the words animation and emoji. Animojis utilize Face ID face tracking to read the movements of the user. These facial expressions are projected onto the face of the 3-D emoji for videos and photos. Recipients of the messages see the Animojis as looping videos and can include audio too.
For example, when sending an Animoji using iMessage, a user can select an option from the available animojis, such as unicorns, sharks, owls, or dogs. Once selected, the user can begin talking, winking, or moving their head, and the Animoji mirrors their actions in the video.
In 2018, Apple added the ability to create a customized avatar called a Memoji. Users can customize features such as skin tone, hairstyle, hair color, and accessories to match the user. Your Memoji is then automatically featured in stickers that express yourself using your character. Although the customization and sticker options make Memoji similar to apps like Bitmoji, it differs because they are integrated with features of iOS. Memojis can be used as profile pictures for contacts and used as Animojis to record 3D videos using your character.