Getting to know Apple's addictive animojis

How do they work? What do they do? One thing's for sure - they're ridiculously cute

Apple's animojis were a highlight of the last iPhone launch and they've already gotten people excited for the iPhone X's debut.

What are they and how do they work? Here's a rundown of what these 3D avatars do (besides distract you).

So, what the heck are animojis?

They're basically animated emojis brought to life by the iPhone X's True Depth Camera.

There's one fixed set of 12 animojis at the moment, comprising a dog, cat, fox, pig, monkey, chicken, panda, rabbit, unicorn, alien, robot and the pièce de résistance - a poop animoji. Yeah, it's 2017 and Apple gives us talking poop.

I need talking poop in my life. How do I get started?

Here's a step-by-step rundown on how to get your animoji on:

1. Open up your Messages app

2. Tap the icon right next to the messaging box - where you go to add stickers and share other items with iMessage. You should see the animoji icon (a monkey that looks like it's yelling). Tap on it.

3. From there, you can pick one animoji of your choice. 

4. The app will then prompt you to centre your face in front of the camera. Click on the big red Record button next to the animoji and you'll have 10 seconds to make faces at the camera. Any sound or speech you make while recording will also be recorded.

5. Once you're done, you can either replay your animoji, trash it or choose to send it to another iMessage user.

So, only iPhone X users will get this?

Well, only they will get to make animojis on the iPhone X, since animojis need the True Depth Camera to be brought to life. But other users with iMessage can still receive them.

You can also save the animojis as videos in MOV format. From there you can share them online, email them or even import them into video editors to make your own animoji mashups.

Only thing is you can't save them before you send them. So you have to send the animoji to someone before you can select and save it. One workaround: send iMessages to yourself so you can keep a thread of your favourite animojis on hand and save them as movies.

Anything else I should know?

While choosing animojis is really up to your personal preference, it's worth knowing that some animojis are more expressive than others. For fun effects, the alien is especially expressive. Raising your eyebrows really high will, for instance, produce little spikes on your alien animoji head.

For the LOL factor, the poop emoji is hard to beat. It does have one weakness - likely due to the design, the animoji can't really wink properly. So if you want to send over a cheeky winking animoji, your best bet is either one of the animals or the alien.

The unicorn emoji, while adorable and definitely a plus for unicorn lovers, isn't as expressive as its animoji siblings. That's likely due to the fact that the other animal emojis faces are flatter and easier to animate.

To get the best results and maximum hilarity, exaggerate your facial expressions.

Now, brace for the inevitable wave of animoji social media posts that will pop up over the next few weeks. Talking poop emojis, talking poop emojis everywhere.