Did you know you could create GIFs directly from your 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 easy, thanks to GIPHY. We explain how to use this app to create your own GIFs if you’re not sure how to do it.
What is a GIF?
From a geekier standpoint, a GIF is a bitmap image format that was created back in the late 1980s by computer scientist Steve Wilhite. GIF is an acronym that stands for “Graphics Interchange Format.” 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. Communities, such as r/GIFs, on Reddit, are dedicated to sharing some of the best GIFs available on the web and showcase the abilities of the format. 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. It is important to note that GIFs are indeed an image format, and thus cannot reproduce audio — they are silent.
Making a GIF on Android with GIPHY
To get started with creating your very own GIF, you will need to download an app from the Google Play store. After testing, we have found our favorite option to be the GIPHY app. 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. Begin by downloading the app using the link provided above, then follow our steps below to get started.
Once you have downloaded the GIPHY app to your device, open it. You will immediately be presented with the GIPHY 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. Otherwise, to start creating your own GIF, tap the Create button in the upper right-hand corner of the screen. If it is your first time using the app, you will need to approve two permission requests to allow the application to operate correctly.
You are now presented with the GIPHY camera; from here, you begin creating your GIF. Basic controls include the X button in the upper left-hand corner to exit the creation process, as well as two icons in the top right-hand corner -; a lightning bolt to turn on your camera flash and a circular arrow to flip from your front to rear camera and vice versa.
To begin filming a GIF, hold down the large circular button at the bottom-middle of the screen. As you hold the button, the app will start filming, and a colorful border will begin to encapsulate the screen — once the border makes its way around, you have run out of recording time. Once complete, release the button, and a preview of your GIF will be shown. Tap the purple arrow button to save the GIF; you can then share it or upload it to GIPHY for storage.
Tip: Want to work with a video clip that you have already recorded? On the camera screen, select the ‘stack of photos’ button in the lower left-hand corner, you can then choose existing videos on your device to convert into GIFs.
Having Fun with GIFs on Android
The GIPHY app also allows for several different customization features to give your GIFs some of that special pizazz. Before you begin recording, on the camera screen, tap the smiley face in the lower left-hand corner to engage with some filters. Alternatively, once your GIF is captured, and before you hit the purple arrow button to proceed, you can customize GIFs by adding text, special effects, and stickers. You can even crop your GIF if you wish to remove portions of it.
Motion Stills: An Alternative to GIPHY
If you’re not a fan of the GIPHY app, you may wish to check out the Motion Stills app from Google. A close runner-up to our favorite GIF app for Android, Motion Stills also allows you to create GIFs with your camera. We love some of the more unique functions that Motion Stills allows, such as the ability to speed up a 60-second video into a shorter GIF, and some of the app’s augmented reality features. However, we are not fans of the 3-second GIF time limit, and the inability to import existing videos from your Photo gallery.
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