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How to make a GIF on an Android phone

Did you know you can create GIFs on an Android phone? You can turn your favorite shows and movies into moving reaction images or create some fun GIFs from videos of your friends, family, or pets! You can even add moving elements to your pictures to create unique GIFs.

Making GIFs on your Android phone is a fun way of creating moving images on the go so you always have the perfect reaction GIF when texting your friends. Creating them is easy, and we explain how by using the free GIPHY app. Read on!

What is a GIF?

GIPHY Website
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Short for Graphics Interchange Format, GIF is a bitmap image format created by computer scientist Steve Wilhite in the late 1980s. It was initially designed as an image format that could easily be downloaded from the now-defunct CompuServe ISP. However, the GIF didn’t gain its signature ability to showcase animations until a few years and a few revisions after its initial release.

Today, GIFs are a common image format used on the web to showcase short animations easily. Due to the format’s comparatively small file size when compared to full resolution videos, GIFs have become an easy way to share moments on the web. Communities on Reddit, such as r/GIFs, are dedicated to sharing some of the best GIFs available on the web and showcasing the abilities of the format.

It is important to note that GIFs are indeed an image format, and thus cannot reproduce audio — they are silent.


GIPHY is our current favorite for making GIFs. Launched in 2013, GIPHY is one of the web’s most popular GIF databases, but the Android app also includes the option to create your very own. After downloading and installing the app, you’ll immediately see GIPHY’s gallery, from which you can browse and search for different GIFs. If you are unfamiliar with the format, this is a great place to explore and get started.

Step 1: Tap the Create button in the top-right corner. The symbol shifts from a “+” to a camera. Alternatively, you can tap the Profile tab in the bottom-right corner, followed by the big Plus/Camera button on your account page.

Step 2: Tap the Allow Camera Access button.

Step 3: Tap Allow on the two prompts.

Step 4: Tap the I Agree button.

Note: You’ll only perform steps 2 to 4 the first time you create a GIF.

Step 5: The app uses the front-facing camera by default. Tap the Camera icon in the bottom-right corner to switch cameras if needed.

Step 6: Under the live feed, swipe left or right on the toolbar to select a filter or effect. There are 11 in all, including animated hands feeding you popcorn (shown above), VHS static, a red/blue filter for old-school 3D glasses, and so on.

Step 7: Press the Filter or Effect button to take a static shot or press and hold the Filter or Effect button to create an animated GIF. There’s also an option not to use a filter or effect — it’s simply a big white button.

If you’re creating animations, the app will gradually form a line around the entire screen. This serves as a visual “timer.” After the line perfectly attaches to the outer edges of the screen, the app will end the recording.

Step 8: Once you capture your desired scene, you can add it to the picture or video. Click one of the four buttons to insert additional elements:

  • Text: Type the text you want using nine different colors.
  • Effects: Add eight different effects ranging from a rainbow overlay to a weird crystal effect to black-and-white film grain.
  • Stickers: Giphy provides a huge assortment of animated stickers too long to list here. Want kissy lips? You got it. Need some bling? There are plenty to dazzle up your image.
  • Trim (animation only): — Cut off the part you don’t need by moving the left and right markers.

Step 9: Select the Crop tool located in the top-right corner of your screen. This will help you resize your GIF. These are the available size options:

  • 1:1
  • 3:2
  • 16:9
  • 4:5
  • 9:16

Step 10: When you’re finished, click the purple Right Arrow button.

Step 11: Type in the tags you want to associate with your GIF (if you’re uploading one).

Step 12: Click Share GIF to share it via text message, Facebook Messenger, Snapchat, and Instagram. You can also click Save Video to store the initial captured video to your device. Hit Save GIF to save your creation locally as well.

Step 13: To post the GIF online, tap the box beside the Terms of Service agreement. After that, tap the blue Upload to GIPHY icon.

An Alternative to GIPHY: GIF Me!

GIF Me is a more straightforward alternative to GIPHY. It lets you record videos by employing its cameras. With this app, you can easily upload photos, video files, and previously-saved GIFs through its integrated Album feature.

After you stop recording your video, you can select from 11 standard photo filters. The app also gives you special tools that allow you to add or remove frames from animations, increase or decrease the animation, and add lines of text. You will also have access to fun and entertaining features like cool stickers and interesting-looking borders to add some visual appeal to your display. Once you’ve finished your project, you can save it as a GIF or an MP4 file.

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Michael Archambault
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Michael Archambault is a technology writer and digital marketer located in Long Island, New York. For the past decade…
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