A software update to the iPhone in the next few months lets you create a digital animated version of yourself that you can send to friends.
It's a custom version of Apple 's Animoji called Memoji, and I've been trying it on the developer beta of iOS 12 . It will eventually be available to the iPhone X and any future iPhones (or potentially iPads) that Apple may launch with a front-facing camera that's as advanced as the one on the iPhone X .
Note that this is a preview of Memoji for app makers to see and test it out. It might change before it launches in iOS 12 in the next couple of months.
Here's what it's like.
You'll start by tapping the Animoji button -- represented by a monkey icon -- at the bottom of your screen in a text message. Then you'll choose 'New Memoji.'
Next, you'll pick your skin color and add any freckles you might have.
Then it's time for the hairstyle. There's a lot to pick from, and you can adjust the color of your hair, too. There are no genders to pick from.
You'll pick your head shape next. Here, you can select if you have a younger or older looking face and how wide or narrow your chin is.
Eye color, shape and eyelash options are next. Here I've picked blue and left my eyes at the default shape, which seems closest to mine.
Now you'll pick your eyebrows. There are 24 different options. I went with a medium width.
You'll pick your nose size next --- there are only three options here -- and then lip size and color. I left these on the default options since they seem accurate.
Now you'll pick your ears -- again only three options -- and add earrings. You can pick different earring colors, too.
You can pick facial hair and sideburns in the next section. I don't have any of these, but there's a bunch of options to pick from.
You can add glasses and pick the color of your frames.
Or even choose colored lenses for sunglasses.
Finally, you can pick headwear and pick any color you like. A red top hat seems appropriate. Then you'll tap done.
To send your new Memoji, you'll select the same monkey icon in a message. Then you can make a face -- the front-facing camera will detect it and mimic it in the emoji -- and tap the Memoji to pop it into a message. You can also record a short video clip with audio.
You can make as many as you want and save them for future use!