Although Apple’s Animoji and Memoji have become pretty popular, they’ve basically been confined to Apple’s own Messages and FaceTime apps, limiting the places where you can actually use them. That’s changing, however, with Apple’s latest update to its fun Clips video app that brings the animated avatars and stickers to a whole new creative level.
Clips is a free video creation app that Apple released for the iPhone and iPad a little over two years ago. At the time, Apple dubbed it “iMovie for the next generation,” offering up a bunch of easy and whimsical features that allow users to easily combine photos, movies, stickers, text, and more into short video clips (hence the name) and share them on social media. Whereas iMovie is still geared toward more serious projects, and requires a little bit of work even on iOS, Clips is designed to quickly let you throw something fun together with minimal effort, focusing on the final experience rather than the process.
Apple has offered some pretty frequent updates to clips, generally focused simply on adding more content such as stickers and backgrounds, along with a significant update after the iPhone X was released that added a new “Selfie Scenes” feature with very cool effects that could place you dynamically in a background environment — from a cafe in Paris to the bridge of the Millennium Falcon — thanks to the front-facing TrueDepth camera.
Now Apple is back with another big update that allows users to bring any of the custom Memoji they’ve created in the Messages app right into the Clips experience. Animoji and Memoji will now automatically appear in Clips, and can be added and even layered over other features in Clips, including filters, text, stickers, and more. Animoji and Memoji characters can even be swapped out after a video has already been recorded, and of course they use the TrueDepth camera on the iPhone X-series and iPhone 11 models to track the user’s facial movements.
Stickers can be applied to Animoji and Memoji and will also track along with the user’s face, so objects like sunglasses and speech bubbles will stay connected to the face, making for an even more fun and interactive experience. Naturally, all of this requires an iPhone or iPad Pro with a front-facing TrueDepth camera — the original iPhone X, iPhone XS/XS Max, iPhone XR, iPhone 11, or iPhone 11 Pro/Pro Max or one of the 2018 iPad Pros; although the Clips app works just fine on other iPhone and iPad models, and even on the seventh-generation iPod touch, you won’t be able to use the Animoji/Memoji or Selfie Scenes features
In addition to the new animated avatars, Apple has added more new content to Clips, including a new collection of seven Disney stickers featuring Mickey and Minnie Mouse and a new winter-themed “Let It Snow” poster that can be used as a background. The new version also adds support for right-to-left languages such as Arabic and Hebrew. Apple has previously offered regular content updates with new posters and stickers, first introducing licensed Disney and Pixar content back in 2017, including Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Donald and Daisy Duck, plus characters from Toy Story and Inside Out.
If you haven’t tried Clips yet, it’s definitely worth a look, especially if you’re using an iPhone 11 or iPhone 11 Pro, which provide an even wider field of view for selfies on the new 12 megapixel front camera. Clips 2.1 is a free download from the App Store and is compatible with iPhone 6s and iPhone SE or later, iPad Air 2 or later and 7th-generation iPod touch, running iOS 13 or iPadOS 13 or later.