How to get ‘Animoji’ on older iPhones and iPads without Face ID

Apple’s popular Animoji (and Memoji) are only available on iPhones and iPads with Face ID. But that doesn’t mean you’re totally out of luck on older devices. Follow along for how to get ‘Animoji’ on older iPhones and iPads without Face ID.

Author Ad Placeholder
Will only appear on redesign env.

If you or your kids are wanting to have some fun with animated emoji, but don’t have a compatible device to use Apple’s official software, there are a handful of options out there (well more than that, but decent choices are limited).

On an iPhone or iPad with Face ID, users can find and use Animoji and Memoji by tapping the monkey face icon in the App strip in iMessage and apps like FaceTime. On non-supported devices, the process isn’t as smooth with third-party software, but is still easy enough to use and can even be used for free.

Note: Apps like these can sometimes lean towards feeling a bit scammy, so be cautious before spending any money on Animoji alternatives.

How to get ‘Animoji’ on older iPhones and iPads without Face ID

  1. Download one of the apps listed below like EMOJI Face Recorder
  2. Open it and choose and record your Animoji substitute
  3. Look for the share button to send via iMessage and more
  4. Follow along below for more specifics

EMOJI Face Recorder

This app offers a range of classic emoji, animals, characters and more to record your facial expressions and voice to. It uses the front facing camera, and tracking isn’t great, but you can get okay results that are still fun to share with others. Just make sure to look at the camera and don’t use any fast movements.

Some caveats, it is a free app, but some characters are restricted via an in-app purchase. Otherwise the free version includes ads. There is a paid VIP version for $10.

EMOJI Face recorder has an average of 4.2/5 stars on over 2,000 reviews.


Supermoji may have the most animated emoji options, but it is also the most expensive offers a rough user experience when it comes to heavily promoting the paid subscription version of the app.

It allows users to record facial expressions and sound to the various characters and is a bit more responsive than EMOJI Face Recorder, but still is much less polished than Apple’s Animoji.

There is a free version, but a huge fullscreen ad pops up (see above) in-between creating your animated emoji which costs a salty $10/week after a free 3-day trial. A small button of text allows users to decline the purchase and continue with the free version after a timer counts down.

Supermoij isn’t likely the best fit for kiddos. That said, if you’re okay with navigating the aggressive paid tier advertising, the free version offers a wide range of animated emoji to choose from.

Interesting enough, Supermoji has 4.4/5 stars on over 50,000 reviews.

How to get Animoji on older iPhones


For those looking for something similar to Apple’s Memoji where you can make custom avatars to look like yourself…or not, #facemoji for iOS is a pretty good alternative. You’re not getting animated modeling based on your facial expressions, but it’s a like a simpler version of Bitmoji that can be fun to use across iPhone and iPad.

#facemoji is a free download from the App Store with no in-app purchases. It has an average of 4.8/5 stars on almost 2,000 reviews.

For more help getting the most out of your Apple devices, check out our how to guide as well as the following articles:

Check out 9to5Mac on YouTube for more Apple news:

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

You’re reading 9to5Mac — experts who break news about Apple and its surrounding ecosystem, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow 9to5Mac on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our exclusive stories, reviews, how-tos, and subscribe to our YouTube channel