Android has a long and troubled history with GIFs. On the more recent version of Android, with an updated browser, it’s still easy to run into problems. Even today, when I load a gif on Android when compared to my PC, it’s much slower on Android. If Android has grown so much so quickly, why can’t it flawlessly play a GIF like so many other things?
From the start, Android didn’t have built-in animated GIF support, or at least not native support. If you wanted to root your device or dig into the code, it was possible to view and save GIFs, but it wasn’t ideal. Today, it’s supported far more across several Android devices, but sadly not all of them.
Why Do Two People See the Same GIF Differently, and How Do You Fix It?
Since Android has several different version is on several different platforms, each device usually handles matters differently. GIFs have always been something that hasn’t been picture perfect on Android, and if you add more Androids into the mix, it gets even more confusing.
Unless you’re on Android 7.1 on very few devices, good luck just trying to send a friend a GIF through your default messenger. So what can you do about this? If you’re using a messenger like WhatsApp (which supports GIFs and videos on Android now), then make sure both users are using the same version of the app.
Otherwise, if you have a link for the GIF that you can send, rather than the GIF itself, this will stop the GIF having a problem when it’s saved. It’s not a perfect fix, but when you’re dealing with more than one device, there isn’t one.
Is This Something You Can Fix?
Android has always had the ability to view animated GIFs, but hasn’t always supported it easily, or natively. Today, the biggest problem I run into with GIFs is them playing a little slower than normal speed. Before, unless you wanted to dive into the programming or coding part of the platform, you were stuck with GIFs that didn’t move.
Since it’s a lot of information to cover if you want to know how to enable GIFs the hard way, read the tutorial here. Otherwise, the only thing you can do is update your version of Android, or turn to an app that can do all of the harder, time-consuming parts for you.
If you’re looking for a good GIF player or viewer, I recommend either OmniGif:
Or the well received QuickPic Gallery:
QuickPic Gallery Download
What About WebM Support?
Believe it or not, Android has had WebM support since around Gingerbread, and it still works well today. If you aren’t familiar with WebM, it’s another video format that’s kind of like GIF, but with more potential, more effective data compression, and better quality. If you have the choice between the two, always take WebM; at least you should look in my opinion.
Whether or not WebM is used depends on the website or the context, but when it is, the content is easy to view, save, and review at a later date.
Can You Make GIFs on Android?
Even if you can’t view GIFs properly in your gallery, or a browser, there are still apps available that let you make and view GIFs. They’re fairly easy to use, and for most of them, all you need is either a video or a few pictures to stitch together. Once you have the footage that you want, you can even edit the final product before you share it or save it.
You won’t be able to view them outside of the app without GIF support, but you can still make them.
Thankfully, there are plenty of easy ways today to add GIF support to your Android if you ever have problems with them. GIF has been a media format for a long time, and even though WebM has started gaining, even more, popularity than before, GIF will be around for a long while still.
If you have any other questions about Android GIFs, please leave them below!