Everything new with Messages in iOS 12

in iOS
AppleInsider takes a dive into iOS 12 to discover twenty new features and changes coming to the Messages app including new Animoji, camera effects, and layout changes.

Inside of iOS 12 there are countless new features (at least 150!) for users to discover.

Messages, in particular, got quite a few enhancements, so we dug in to see what we could find.


The biggest feature coming to Messages is the all-new MeMoji. Going beyond Animoji in iOS 11, iOS 12's MeMoji are customizable avatars built by choosing skin, hair, eyes, lips, accessories and other elements. These can match your real face or be completely outlandish. Once you're done, they can be used in animations, stickers, or as real-time camera effects.

Another headlining feature is all of the new effects coming to the camera. While shooting a picture, you're able to apply a multitude of different filters, stickers, and Animoji in real time. Animoji can replace your head in a selfie, stylish filters can overlay the whole image, and stickers from any sticker pack be applied.

Once a photo is taken, it can be instantly edited, reshot, or altered with MarkUp before being sent off.

T-Rex Animoji

There are several new Animoji: lion, T-Rex, koala, and ghost which are sure to please some users, as well the increased recording time to 30 seconds. Other changes can be small, such as the redesigned app bar.

Full list of changes:

  • New Animoji interface

  • Animoji tongue detection

    Can detect if the user is sticking their tongue out. Character reacts accordingly.

  • Animoji wink detection

    Can detect a user winking. Character winks at the same time with the correct eye.

  • Animoji tiger character

  • Animoji koala character

  • Animoji T-Rex character

  • Animoji ghost character

  • MeMoji

  • MeMoji Maker

    Allows users to create their own Animoji character.

  • Longer Animoji (30 secs)

    Increased from 10 seconds previously.

  • Messages app for the Camera

    shows recently taken camera shots as well as those from image library in a dedicated page.

  • Photos iMessage app

    Images viewable in a dedicated iMessage app instead of taking users elsewhere

  • Messages app for Camera effects

  • Messages app for Animoji

  • Messages app for filters

  • Messages app for text effects

  • Messages app for shapes

  • New design for App Strip

    Updated along the top of the keyboard.

  • When making iMessage app full screen, app name is at the top

  • Quick Messages app contact shortcuts

Be sure to check out everything else new in iOS 12:

How to share photos in Messages in iOS 12
Use Siri Suggestions with Do Not Disturb mode in iOS 12
Create your own Siri Shortcuts in iOS 12
How to use Continuity Camera with macOS Mojave and iOS 12
All the new HomeKit features in iOS 12
All the iPad-specific features in iOS 12
How to use iOS 12's new AR Measure app
How to use Screen Time in iOS 12
Create your own MeMoji in iOS 12


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