Regarding Animoji in Messages and FaceTime, Again

Earlier today, Jack Purcher of Patently Apple published this piece where he claims to have discovered Apple’s “next generation” Animoji software in a patent filing:

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 54 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular report we briefly cover a single granted patent that takes Animojis to the next level by allowing a user to replace their head and face with an Animoji character while the user’s body and movements are naturally from the user. Who says you can’t stay young forever?


In Patent FIG. 6F below the user chooses the robot Animoji head and in 6H the TrueDepth camera (the creative camera) will advise the user to keep their head within a frame. Next-Gen Animojis will allow the user to keep their own bodies while presenting an Animoji face.

Far from a “next-gen” system, this, to me, looks and sounds exactly like the camera effects in Messages and FaceTime introduced in iOS 12. This is not the first time Patently Apple has misread patent drawings or misinterpreted intellectual property filings.

But I also don’t entirely blame them. As I’ve written before, these effects are difficult to find and use, and I think this mistaken report is another indication of its flawed UI. It’s not the most pressing issue, but I hope it’s something Apple will reconsider and improve upon in iOS 13 or 14.