Apple Step Up Their Game By Announcing Group Facetime And Memojis

Apple have stepped up their filter game and could soon be rivalling Snapchat and Instagram for video messaging and fun facial effects.

Apple held their annual conference WWDC (Worldwide Developers Conference) this week, where all new iOS 12 features were displayed and unveiled to developers from across the world. Amongst the huge list of updates and developments for Apple users, 2 look like they will cause a stir in the social media world.

Back in September, Apple announced the arrival of animoji, a fun feature allowing your camera to read the muscles in your face and then animate your expressions on an emoji. These animated emojis are similar to the face lenses on Snapchat and Instagram, giving users an amusing way to share messages with friends.

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Apple animoji. Image source: https://blog.emojipedia.org/apples-new-animoji/

Now this feature has been taken to the next level, with Tim Cook announcing the ability to make an emoji in your own likeness: a memoji.

Unveil of iOS 12’s memoji feature. Image source: https://techcrunch.com/2018/06/04/apples-memoji-brings-an-animated-you-to-your-iphone/

The ability to edit facial features including skin tone, freckles, hair style, colour and so on lets users create their own avatars which will respond to their facial expressions. Due to the popularity of Bitmoji on Snapchat, memoji shows Apple stepping into this space to directly compete. These avatars will bridge the gap between static Bitmoji stickers and the facial filters we have all come to love.

A further new feature which will directly compete with Snapchat is the arrival of group Facetime. It was announced that group video calls of up to 32 people will be possible on Facetime in iOS 12. With Snapchat having recently launched a similar feature — albeit with only up to 16 people — this Apple update could rock the boat.

Group Facetime available on iOS 12. Image source: http://uk.businessinsider.com/apple-wwdc-keynote-live-blog-announcements-ios-macos-watchos-2018-6

Finally, use of animoji and memoji will be possible during video calls on Facetime, allowing users to change their faces and speak through their own avatar, or one of the many animals available.

Animoji and Memoji available on group Facetime calls on iOS 12. Image source: http://uk.businessinsider.com/apple-wwdc-keynote-live-blog-announcements-ios-macos-watchos-2018-6

These updates mark an interesting move from Apple, who are continuing to incorporate big social media trends into their native iOS. Whether or not these additions will steer users from platforms like Snapchat and Instagram is unclear. As fun as the new features are, if they can’t be shared on social media, are they as valuable?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments or on Twitter @Hopper_HQ

You can watch the best bits of WWDC here:

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