While 2015 was all about the selfies, 2016, well, is still all about the selfies, but with a slight twist. It seems a picture of your own face just isn’t enough anymore, and it’s hardly surprising: the selfie craze has snowballed out of control, with every Tom, Dick or Harry snapping away at any given opportunity. It was only a matter of time before people got bored, and it seems they’ve already gone and found something new. The latest craze involves swapping your selfie face with someone or something else’s selfie face, depending on what your camera decides is a face.
The outcome can be quite terrifying to say the least, but also hilarious. With the craze spreading quickly online, developers have jumped into the fray to provide us with numerous tools, so you can get in on the face swap fun on Android, iOS and Windows. The good news is most of them are free. Here are our favourite apps so far.
iOS – Free
Recently bought by social media giant Facebook, start-up MSQRD, or Masquerade, is one of the best when it comes to switching your mug with someone else’s. The ‘video selfie’ app not only takes snaps of your face merged with your friends but it records short clips of your digitally edited face as well. And if that wasn’t enough, the face swap feature is just one of many realistic and effective augmented reality masks, from celebrities to zombies. Face tracking is spot on, filters are varied and it can be a lot of fun if you’re wanting to well and truly freak someone (as well as yourself) out. However, Android users will have to go without as the app is so far only available on Apple smartphones.
Face Swap Live
iOS – 79p
Annoyingly, Face Swap Live is one of the few apps in its category that you actually have to pay for. While it costs just 79p, it’s still not the best out of the bunch we tried and tested but its main draw is the simple user interface that makes it super easy to use. From the main menu, you can choose to swap faces on an existing photo, so you don’t have to take a new one there and then, or you can swap faces with a buddy live, simply saving the results to the camera roll. The simple and user-friendly interface might be a boon for those new to the world of face swapping, but those more wanting a bigger set of features are likely to crave something more.
Snapchat – and how to find it!
Android and iOS – Free
While not dedicated solely to face swapping, Snapchat was one of the first major apps to bring face-swapping technology to the mainstream. With over 100 million daily active users, it’s hardly surprising face swapping has become a ‘thing’, and the great thing is, you can send it to your mates and they can’t save it.
With a list of ever-changing filters that gives MSQRD a run for its money, Snapchat is one of the best places to face swap, and one of the quickest ways to send the end result on to friends, without running the risk that could share your freakish creations with the world. The thing is, it’s not so easy to find out how to do it as it’s not immediately obvious where the filters are hidden.
When on the selfie camera option, hold your finger down on the screen and you’ll be greeted by a bar of different masks. Face Swap is one of these masks; just swipe across until you find it. Hold the central circular button to record a video of your switched mugs, or tap it to take a photo before you send on.
Face Swap Booth
iOS and Android – Free
If you’re really into your face swapping and want the tools to customise your faces down to the smallest detail, then Face Swap Booth is the one. There’s more faffing involved in creating a masterpiece but if you take the time, you can swap individual facial features creating some truly bizarre expressions. What’s unique about Face Swap Booth is that it’s integrated with Facebook so now you can open your Facebook photos from within the app. However, be aware that you can’t save your creations unless you make an online purchase of £2.99. Gahh.
Face Juggler was one of the first apps to grace the Apple App Store with a mission to swap your face. It’s been around for a few years now, but that doesn’t go to say it’s not a contender.While it doesn’t switch faces live like some of the other apps in this list, the great thing about Face Juggler is that it can process the faces of more than two people at once in one photo, and gives you the option to tweak the results once they have been rendered. Great for groups and potentially hours of laughs to be had with this one.
Face Swap is a pretty straight forward face-switching app for Android users. It provides a simple and quick way to swap the faces of people, all you need to do is to take a photo facing the camera or select one you already have, and then shake your phone and Face Swap will do its magic.
The result can be tinkered using built-in tools, such as Face Adjustment, Face Scaling and Face Rotation which allow you to resize, adjust and rotate a selected face until it looks more convincing. Photos can then be saved to your photo library or shared directly on Facebook or Twitter. You will have to put up with some rather annoying ads, though.
Auto Face Swap
If you’d rather swap faces on your laptop or PC, maybe something of your own or downloaded from the internet, then try the Auto Face Swap app from the Windows Store.It’s very basic compared to some of the apps you can download for your smartphone, and requires you to do more of the dirty work to get the results you want, but it works. You have to drag and drop images from your desktop into the program and then drag the boxes around the faces it automatically detects from the photo onto one another. The result is just as terrifying as on mobile platforms, and works relatively well, but the limited features will get you crying out for one of the above mobile apps before long.