Since Android devices don’t have the best track record with native GIF support, the buck passes to apps to get the job done. With the help of two different apps, you can use your Android to turn pictures into GIFs from images stored on your phone and from pictures you can take right in the apps themselves.
Those two apps are:
- GIF Camera
- Camera GIF Creator
I’ll explain the ins and outs of each app from top to bottom, side to side, and back to back just for good measure. We’ll be starting with the most self-explanatory of them all, GIF Camera.
App 1: GIF Camera
- Pleasing interface
- Quick with edits
- GIF browsing capability
- Able to make GIFs from pictures already on phone
- Ability to share GIFs through different apps
- Can link directly to Facebook and Twitter
- Issues with stability
- Very few editing options
GIF Camera is a GIF maker and viewer for Android with sharing capability built in. I’m starting with GIF Camera first because it’s the only app on the list that has malfunctioned multiple times. However, I’m still bringing it to light now just in case this is only a problem on my end.
In the step-by-step below, I’ll explain how to make a GIF with GIF Camera, and then how you can share it, or edit it right away.
Download GIF Camera
Unless you somehow already have GIF Camera installed on your phone, you’ll need to download it. You could either search for it yourself or give this conveniently placed Google Play Button a tap.
Personally, I recommend the latter, but that’s just me. After you’ve made sure GIF Camera is neatly tucked away in your app drawer, you’re ready to start creating GIFs with it.
Selecting a GIF Making Process and Changing Settings
There are two ways to create a GIF in GIF Camera. I’m willing to bet you could guess if your camera is used or not in one of the methods. If you got it by your second guess, you’d be right.
However, let’s hop into the settings for a minute to take a look at what we can change.
Here we can set the maximum amount of frames we can use while recording which goes all the way up to 60. Additionally, you can link your Twitter and Facebook directly with GIF Camera to make sharing even easier. But, before we can think any more about sharing we’ll need to make a GIF first!
The first way to make GIFs in GIF Camera through your camera itself.
Up in the top left corner is Make GIF, and then beneath that is From Local. Make GIF is what you’ll want to use if you want to make a GIF by recording through your camera. From Local, on the other hand, asks you to select pictures in the order desired to smash together to make a GIF.
I’ll explain each process one after the other, but let’s start with the Make GIF option in the top left. After tapping it you’ll be treated to a camera screen that you can thankfully use your camera’s flash with if the picture is looking dim.
Let’s quickly do a run-down of all the buttons we have on screen here. Taking up a corner in the top left is the flash symbol I was talking about before. Giving it a tap turns the flash on, and tapping it again makes it go back to sleep.
In the upper right corner, we have the camera switch button. If your Android phone also has a camera in the front. You can use this as well to make a GIF to your liking.
Down on the bottom and all the way to the left we have a big X. If you were worried that hitting this would make the window close, your worries aren’t baseless. Hitting the X brings you back to the main menu of the app, leaving you to make another selection.
Next, we have the symbol sitting next to the X that looks almost like a miniature picture gallery. Tapping this will do the same as hitting the From Local option from the main menu.
Then we have the big red button, as tempting as ever. Hitting this will start the recording, leaving it to record for at least five seconds if the camera is set to Auto, or letting it record when and how you like if the button is set to Manual.
Now that we know what everything does, we’re going to make two quick GIFs using both methods.
Making a GIF With the Camera
Starting with the upper left corner first, we’re going to use the camera to make short GIF. First we’ll try using Auto so we can just sit back and let the GIF record. After hitting the big red button a yellow bar will start to fill indicating the app is currently recording.
After you hit the button, you have around five seconds to record whatever you want before the timer automatically ticks down to zero. You can also hit the check mark off to the right at any time during the recording to stop there and just work with what you’ve recorded before the five seconds were up.
Now we’ll move on to Manual mode which will work a lot better if you’re trying to record something in the style of a slideshow rather than a video. To switch to Manual mode, tap Manual next to Auto.
With Manual turned on hit the big red button to start. Unlike in Auto mode, you are no longer at the mercy of time. Using the big red button at the bottom again, you take snapshots (up to 60) that will serve as the frames of your GIF.
Just like in Auto mode, you can stop the GIF if you don’t want to use all 60 frames you can click the check box off to the right. Additionally, if you decide you’d rather start over you can always hit the X off to the left.
After you’ve either snapped as many shots as you want, or filmed at least one second to fifteen seconds of footage you can move to the built-in editing process.
Making a GIF with Local Pictures
Another option with GIF Camera is to use pictures from your local storage to make a GIF. You can select up to 60, just like the maximum number of frames in Manual Mode.
After you’ve selected all the pictures you want to use just hit the check mark in the upper right corner of the screen to move to the editing process.
Editing Your GIF
Whether you recorded your GIF in Auto mode, Manual mode, or used pictures from your phone in the From Local square, you’ll still be presented with a few minor options to use for editing.
Here we have a few different options. First, you can select and deselect individual frames in the GIF. This is pretty useful in Auto mode, Manual mode, and From Local, but more so in Manual (and Local) as every frame could potentially be something different.
You can also set the frames displayed per second of your GIF. The slider goes all the way from one frame per second to twenty frames per second.
Once you’ve edited the GIF to suit your tastes it’s time to either save it to your phone, or share it immediately!
Saving or Sharing Your GIF
Now that you’ve hopefully made the GIF you set out to create, it’s time to share it or just save it for later. In the upper right corner of the edit screen are two different symbols. First from the left is the share button.
You will see a dropdown menu allowing you to choose what app on your phone you’d like to use to share the GIF. If you’re just looking to save your GIF, however, you’ll want to tap the button next to it. There’s just a slight problem with that currently.
When I was testing the application, I got an error when trying to save. I tried to save it again multiple times but received the same result. However, since I cannot confirm if this happens on every device it could be worth looking into on your own Android device.
App 2: Camera GIF Creator
- Does what it says quickly and easily
- Has a good amount of options for GIF customization
- Interface is easy once you get used to it
- Has a sense of humor
- Has a few ads
- The interface has a bit of a learning curve Camera GIF Creator is another GIF creation app that can either make use of your phone’s camera, or pictures already stored on your phone. While the interface can be a little confusing at first, it’s relatively easy to use once you understand it.I’ll be going through how to make and edit GIFs to your liking in Camera GIF Creator step by step, so let’s get to it.
Download Camera GIF Creator
You probably don’t need me to tell you that you’ll need to download the app before you can use it, so here’s a Google Play button that will take you right to the app.
After you’ve downloaded and installed the app, you can open it and start tackling its strange-at-first interface.
Navigating Camera GIF Creator
If you’re anything like me you might also be confused when Camera GIF Creator immediately boots into the settings menu.
Even if it doesn’t seem like it, this is Camera GIF Creator’s main menu. After I gave it a little thought, having the settings menu be the main screen in an app like this is actually a good idea. If you’re trying to make your GIF look just right before sharing or saving it, you’ll be seeing a lot of this menu regardless.
However, if none of these settings interest you and you just want to crank out a quick GIF no matter the cost, you can do so with the buttons in the top right corner.
Starting with the first from the left, we have the camera button. Pressing this immediately goes into your camera, allowing you to snap as many shots as you’d like.
Then the button next to the camera on the right takes you to your local storage. You can choose from pictures on your phone, or your micro-SD card, to quickly make a GIF in no time flat.
The third and final button up top shows you a dropdown menu.
From here you can either lock your settings, get a link to the pro-version of the app to remove the ads, rate it, or just get a little information about it.
That’s all you need to know about navigating the app, but what about the myriad of settings and sliders below those buttons?
Playing with the Settings
While I may have called it a myriad earlier, that was a bit of an exaggeration.
In the Settings side of the main menu, we have options for duration, frame rate, speed, size, quality, and repetitions. With a quick swipe, we can also go down and see two check boxes for Modes. Checking Turning Back will make the GIF play forwards and backwards in a loop, and checking Reverse will play the GIF backwards.
For duration, you can set it to a minimum of 0.1 seconds, and a maximum of 10 seconds. Alongside this, frame rate can be set to a minimum of 1 frame per second, and then a maximum of 50 frames per second. You can play with these as please, but the defaults will generally work best, unless you’re aiming to play with the speed of your GIF.
Speaking of speed, you can set the speed slider anywhere between 0.5 times normal speed to two times normal speed. Playing with the speed could alter the natural flow of your intended GIF, so it’s normally better to leave this alone.
However, something that you should play with is GIF size. It starts off at 320×420, but you could make it as small as 80×60, or as big as 640×480. You should keep the size in mind as well as the quality, which starts at 50%, but can go as high as 100%, or as low as a seemingly impossible 0%.
The last slider under settings is Repetitions, which in my opinion should always be set to infinite. Setting Repetitions to infinite doesn’t make the GIF take up infinite space, so the only reason to limit the number of repetitions falls under personal opinion.
Making and Sharing a GIF with the Camera
Now that your settings are tuned to your liking, it’s time to make a GIF. To use your camera to make the magic happen just hit the camera symbol on the top right.
Tapping the camera button will bring up your own camera, meaning you can take pictures however you like. To make a GIF you’ll need to snap at least two pictures, and each time you take a shot Camera GIF Creator cheers you on with little word bubbles to take more.
After you’ve taken all the pictures you want just hit the back button.
Once you’ve hit back, Camera GIF Creator will already start making your GIF with the pictures taken. Wait a few seconds and your GIF will be placed in your phone’s storage. Camera GIF Creator will take you right to where your GIF was placed.
If you want to share the GIF, tap the GIF to select it, and then tap it one more time to make a banner drop down.
Now just tap the share button in the far right corner of the banner, and select the app you want to use to share it.
Making and Sharing a GIF From Stored Pictures
The other way that Camera GIF Creator can make GIFs is by using pictures already stored on your phone, or an SD card. Tapping the button next to the camera on the top row will bring you to your phone’s local storage.
From here, you can navigate through your phone’s different folders to either go to your picture gallery or a SD card that has pictures you’d like to use. Once there the process is easy.
Tap each picture you want to use in the order that you want them to appear in the GIF. You’ll need to select at least two, but when you have all the pictures you want to use hit the Picture + button up on the top bar.
After hitting the button required, a progress bar should show up confirming that you hit the button you needed to.
Once a few seconds have passed, your GIF should be all ready to go. Camera GIF Creator should take you right to it to inspect as well as showing you where on your phone it was saved.
If you don’t want to share your GIF, you’re done. However, if you want to share your GIF with a different app on your Android phone, you can tap the GIF to make a banner drop down. The banner is already there in the picture above, but if it isn’t you can make it easily appear with a single tap.
Now, just hit the share button in the top right to get a list of apps you can share it with. Select the app you want to use and now you can share your GIF with whatever and whomever you want.
Between the two apps above, Camera GIF Creator was my favorite, if only because of the app’s sense of humor when taking pictures. However, both apps provide a decent platform for making GIFs out of pictures, so you can’t go wrong with either.
Did you manage to find a better app for GIFs than the ones above? Please share it in the comments! There are quite a few ways to enjoy apps on Android, so why not share your experience?