The WWDC 2018 keynote included a segment for Messages, but it was about Animoji and Memoji more than anything else.
You’re aware of Animoji. Apple announced the animal-based avatars alongside the iPhone X in 2017. It’s exclusive to the most advanced iPhone because of its complex front-facing camera and sensors. The iPhone X looks at an individual’s face and mirrors movement for an avatar. Now you’ll be able to choose a ghost, koala, tiger, and t-rex.
What’s entirely new, however, is Memoji. The new style lets you create yourself in emoji form. It’s a lot like Samsung’s AR Emoji, and you do get a full suite of customization tools. If you make a Memoji, you can create any version of yourself with accessories included.
The Messages app is also gaining real-time stickers. As your front-facing camera sees you, you can add stickers similar to the ones on Snapchat and Instagram.
Just like you can with Animoji, Memoji can be used in selfies and videos. Apple is also letting iPhone X owners with iOS 12 apply them during FaceTime calls.
iOS 12 will be released this fall when the next iPhone’s are made official.