We’re calling it: animated emoji are officially a “thing.” Now that Apple’s iPhone X has Animoji, Samsung’s Galaxy S9 has AR Emoji, and ASUS’s ZenFone 5 has ZeniMoji, the way to show off your status as a fancyphone owner is by sending all your friends cartoons made with your face.
Not about to spring on the iPhone X or Samsung 9? Don’t get left behind. Download one of these dupes instead. These apps aren’t a substitute for the sophisticated face-tracking tech that lets iPhone X users animate the pile of poop, but they’re guaranteed to annoy your friends less than those Animoji videos.
My Talking Pet
So, your friend with the iPhone X can make the puppy emoji move with her face. But can she animate her own dog’s face? Use this app to turn a photo of Baxter into an animated video. First, use the given points to map the dog’s chin, eyes, mouth, and ears in the app. Then, record something with your voice, like, “I love tennis balls” and watch Baxter come to life like you’ve never seen before. It’s a talking dog! With expressive eyebrows and everything! You can even change the pitch of the voice to match your pup’s personality. Can Animoji do that? $2.99, iOS and Android.
Instead of using your face to animate emoji, HAHAmoji uses emoji to animate your face. Open the app and capture or upload your image. Then scroll through a list of emojis—there’s the cool sunglasses emoji, the happy-and-blushing face, and the laugh-crying emoji, and, of course, the poop emoji. Choose the happy-and-blushing face and watch your lips curl up into a strange smile, your eyebrow raise, and two pink animated circles appear on your cheeks. The app is marketed as the “Animoji for Android,” which is… generous. Free, iOS and Android.
The WIRED Guide to Emoji
This might sound weird, but have you ever dreamed of watching a miniaturized 3-D version of yourself doing flips over the kitchen table while dressed as a mermaid? Look no further. With this app, now you can. Open the app and take a selfie, aligning the given points to your chin, eyes, and mouth. Then tap the bottom right corner to choose which character you want to put your face on. You can become a mermaid, a wrestler, a scientist, and more. Next, look through your phone’s camera and tap anywhere to bring your augmented reality character to life. Watch your digital doppelgänger dance around, perform tricks, and act out little scenes. You can also capture videos to send to your friends. Is that really any weirder than putting your facial expressions on a pile of poop? Free, iOS only.
Emoji Me Face Maker
This app lets you cartoonify yourself like Samsung’s AR Emoji. Take a selfie to use as a reference point, then match your physical traits best you can. The app generates over 30 free stickers featuring your emojified face to send to all your pals. You can also make sticker GIFs, where your character pops champagne, blows a kiss, or rolls its eyes. Free, iOS only.