Augmented reality avatars that mimic facial expressions are no longer the exclusive province of Animojis on the iPhone X or AR Emojis from Samsung. Camera app Snow has added its own alternative to Apple and Samsung's features, which it also calls AR Emoji, for iOS and Android.
The app offers five characters. There's a dog wearing a bandana, a pig with a birthday hat, and a cat with no accessories. Then there's what appears to be a pineapple with a headband, but its face appears where a slice has been taken out of the pineapple. Finally, users can turn their face into that of a bald, middle-aged man with a wispy mustache.
While Apple and Samsung replace the user's background for their AR apps, Snow actually places its AR Emoji as full face masks. Users can opt to change their background, though, by tapping the screen.
Users can capture their antics in photos and video, the latter of which can be converted to GIFs if less than 10 seconds long. The app also lets users substitute audio with a selection of preloaded tracks.
The app also offers some creative twists. The pig, pineapple, and man have voice-changing options. There's also variations that put three tiny versions of the man's face on the user's forehead and another that plants pineapple heads on the user's shoulders. Yeah, I don't know why, either.
A one-time Snapchat clone that has since removed the chat to focus on camera effects, Snow also offers 26 augmented reality experiences for the rear-facing camera and a multitude of front-facing effects called Snomoji. Once an acquisition target of Facebook, the app closed $50 million in funding SoftBank and Sequoia China earlier this year.
Considering that the new AR features are designed to work on any front-facing smartphone camera, the experience is not as precise as one would find on Apple's iPhone X or even Samsung's copy. However, if you're itching to do some Animoji Karaoke and you're not on an iPhone X yet, then you now have something to work with.