If you have an iPhone X or newer, there is a great feature called Animoji (Card for Animated Emoji) that can take your emoji game up a score. This is how you use it.
Animoji uses the phone's forward-facing camera to track your facial expressions and then translate them into different characters on the screen to make them live. You can choose from different creatures like a cat, dog, chicken, dinosaur or unicorn, or create your own "Memoji" that looks like you. Here's how to get started.
How to access Animoji
Animoji is essentially an iMessage app, so you can access it in the Messages app. Start by opening a conversation in Messages and then tap the button at the bottom that has a monkey face.
This gives up Animoji so you can start using it.
How to use Animoji
The first Animoji that pops up will be monkey characters, but you can scroll right and choose from a lot of different characters. Your iPhone will continuously track your facial expressions and show them in real time on the character you've chosen. To start recording a short video, press the red recording button at the bottom right of the screen.
You can record video clips up to 30 seconds long. To stop recording, just press the Recording button again.
To send the recording to your friend, press the arrow button which has now replaced the recording button. This is sent as an animated GIF of varieties. If you send it to someone using Android, it will appear as a regular video.
If you want to send a still image of an Animoji instead of a video, press Animoji at any time. This speeds up an image that you can send off.
Create a Memoji
To create your own "Memoji" that looks like you, swipe left and press the "+" button.
This begins creating process, and you can be surprisingly detailed thanks to all the different options that Apple has given.
Where it says "Skin", you can scroll to the right to move on to the next section of the creation.
When you are ready to create your Memoji, press "Done" in the top right corner.
Your new Memoji is ready to go!
You can delete a Memoji at any time by pressing the ellipse and then pressing "Delete" on the next screen.