In today’s digital age, the ability to animate static images—making them appear as if they’re conversing—is no longer confined to the realm of professional animators. That’s right, there’s a variety of talking photo apps designed for both iOS and Android that can do just that.
In this post, I’m diving into a curated list of standout apps that offer this unique capability. Whether you want to inject personality into a photo by using your own voice or prefer to choose from a library of pre-recorded lines, these apps have got you covered. So read on to discover which talking photo app will best suit your creative or educational needs.
How Talking Photo Apps Work
Here is a general step-by-step guide on how to use most talking photo apps:
- Download and Install the App: Search for a talking photo app in your device’s app store (like Google Play Store for Android or App Store for iOS). Examples of such apps are My Talking Pet, Mug Life, or Wombo AI. Download and install the one you want.
- Open the App: Tap on the app icon to open it.
- Select a Photo: Usually, the first step after opening the app is to select the photo you want to animate. This could be from your device’s gallery, or some apps may allow you to take a new photo.
- Mark the Mouth: In some apps, you might have to indicate the area that should be animated as the mouth. Follow the app’s instructions on how to do this. The better you place the markers, the better the final result will typically be.
- Record Your Voice: After setting up the image, the next step is usually to record the message you want the “talking photo” to say. Tap the ‘Record’ button and speak into your device’s microphone. Some apps may allow you to change the pitch and speed of the recorded voice to make it sound different.
- Preview and Edit: After recording your voice, you can preview the talking photo. If you’re not satisfied, most apps will allow you to re-record your message or adjust the mouth markers.
- Save and Share: Once you’re happy with the result, you can save the talking photo to your device or share it directly from the app to social media, email, messaging apps, and more.
Ways to Use Talking Photo Apps in Teaching
Talking photo apps can be a fun and engaging tool to use in the classroom. Here are some ideas on how teachers can incorporate these apps into their lesson plans:
- Enhancing Presentations: Students can use talking photo apps to animate images in their presentations, making them more engaging and memorable. For example, if a student is giving a presentation on a historical figure, they could use a talking photo app to make it appear as if the figure is giving part of the presentation.
- Storytelling: In language arts or English class, students can use these apps to create animated characters for their own stories. They can take photos of their own drawings or use copyright-free images, then use the app to make their characters “speak” their dialogue.
- Foreign Language Learning: Talking photo apps can be a fun way to practice pronunciation and dialogue in a foreign language class. Students can animate images and record their voices speaking in the language they’re learning.
- Teaching about Digital Citizenship: In an age where deepfakes and manipulated media are common, using a talking photo app can open a discussion about digital ethics, how images can be manipulated, and how to critically evaluate digital content.
- Explaining Complex Concepts: Teachers can use talking photo apps to create engaging explainer videos. For instance, in a science class, a teacher could animate a photo of a cell or an animal to explain its functions.
- Role Plays: In social studies or literature classes, students can use talking photo apps to animate images of people from history or characters from books to act out scenarios or debates.
- Art Projects: In art class, students can animate their own artwork or photos of sculptures and other 3D projects to add a unique, digital dimension to their work.
Best Talking Photo Apps
Here are our top picks for talking photo apps:
1. ChatterPix Kids
ChatterPix Kids is a user-friendly app designed to make anything—from pets and books to doodles—talk. Geared for kids aged 5-12, the app lets you snap a photo, draw a line to create a mouth, and record your voice to bring your image to life. The platform is excellent for crafting playful messages, creative cards, or even elaborate book reports.
Developed by Duck Duck Moose, a subsidiary of the renowned educational platform Khan Academy, the app includes 22 stickers, 10 frames, and 11 photo filters for added customization. While it’s a tool for creative expression, it’s also backed by a reputable organization and comes with the credibility of multiple awards in the realm of educational technology. Plus, it’s completely free, making it a valuable resource for both educators and families.
Talkr is an intuitive app that transforms any picture into a talking character, offering a range of applications from entertainment to education. Whether it’s giving voice to your child’s favorite stuffed animals or allowing pets to “express” themselves in multiple languages, the app adds a lively dimension to everyday images.
It’s not just for kids, though—you can have everyone from cartoon characters to celebrities ‘speak’ in either your own voice or a modified version of it. Ideal for crafting unique messages or interactive movies, the app is versatile enough to make bedtime stories more engaging or even allow babies to “talk” to their grandparents. With sharing options for social media, Talkr amplifies the creative potential of your photos, letting you easily produce and disseminate fun, personalized content.
Compatibility: iOS / Price: Free, offers in-app purchases / Age: 4+
POSE is a versatile talking pictures app that allows you to animate any face or object with recorded or pre-set voice lines, transforming static images into dynamic videos. The app not only lets you make your pictures talk but also offers options to change facial expressions—think smiles, frowns, and winks—at the touch of a button.
Additional features like funny stickers, voice effects, and filters give you the creative liberty to truly personalize your message. From birthday greetings to business promotions, the app accommodates a multitude of use-cases. Users get to create up to five videos for free, with a Pro version available for those looking to unlock unlimited saving and sharing.
With robust privacy measures in place, POSE ensures that your creations are stored only on your device. Given its broad range of applications, POSE can be a fun and valuable addition to your edtech toolkit, especially when trying to engage students in a more interactive way.
Compatibility: iOS/ Price: Free, offers in-app purchases / Age: 4+
4. Talkr Live
Talkr Live is an innovative app that leverages advanced 3D algorithms to animate photos, allowing you to speak as anyone from celebrities and politicians to characters in paintings or dolls. The technology captures your facial movements and syncs them with the photo, creating impressively realistic talking videos.
You have the flexibility to switch between different faces within the same photo or even between various photos in one video. Optimized for iPhones with depth cameras, the app nevertheless works well with iPhone models 6S and later. In-app purchases remove the Talkr logo and upgrade video resolution, but the core features are available for free.
This app opens up an array of creative possibilities, whether you’re looking to make a compelling presentation or just engage people in a fun, interactive way. It’s a great example of how technology can be used to elevate the art of storytelling, making it a fun addition to the edtech landscape.
Compatibility: iOS / Price: Free, offers in-app purchases / Age: 4+
SpeakPic adds an extra layer of creativity to the concept of animated talking pictures by allowing you to attach WhatsApp audio clips to your images. The app uses AI technology to bring faces in photos to life, syncing them with either typed or recorded text. What sets it apart is the ability to import audio sent by friends on WhatsApp, offering a unique spin to the typical voice-over experience.
The app also comes with an array of voice effects and language options to further personalize your creation. Whether you’re making your friend “sing” a team anthem or crafting an unexpected love confession, SpeakPic opens up a new realm of possibilities. However, the app sets boundaries by prohibiting its use for political, sexual, or offensive content.
This makes SpeakPic not just an entertainment tool, but also a responsible platform. In an educational context, it could serve as a fun way to engage students in language learning or creative storytelling exercises.
Compatibility: Android / Price: Free / Age: 4+
6. My Talking Pet
The My Talking Pet Photo app offers a playful yet feature-rich platform that breathes life into photos of your pets, making them “talk” in a surprisingly realistic fashion. Whether or not you have your own pet, the app gives you a plethora of animal choices. You can personalize your talking pet experience with your own voice or select from a range of amusing pre-recorded clips.
The voice modulation feature lets you adjust the tone to match the animal, and you can even dress up your pet with hats, glasses, and moustaches. Beyond the fun, the app has practical applications like weather updates and appointment reminders, delivered by your digital pet assistant. iMessage integration allows you to send these charming messages directly to friends.
For users who want a more premium experience, the Pro version removes watermarks, unlocks special modes, and offers unlimited saving and sharing options. Given the advanced 3D animation and text-addition for memes, this app packs both entertainment and utility into one engaging package.
Wrapping things up, talking photo apps are more than just a fun gimmick; they’ve got some real educational potential as well. For instance, you could use them to make vocabulary learning more interactive for students, turning static images into interactive experiences. I’ve even dabbled in using one to animate historical figures for a social studies lesson, which made for a captivating classroom discussion. And let’s be honest, the “cool” factor of these apps can really engage students in a way that traditional methods might not.
On the technical side, not all talking photo apps are created equal. Some offer more features but come with a steeper learning curve, like My Talking Pet Pro. Others, like SpeakPic, are more straightforward but may lack some advanced customization options. I’ve personally found that a good balance between ease of use and feature-richness works best for classroom settings, but your mileage may vary.