Keen to use plenty of GIFs in your text conversations, social media interactions, or even your work? If you can’t find the the perfect one somewhere like Giphy, it’s pretty easy to make your own, providing you know how. We take a look at the best options out there for your smartphone.
GIFs are a fun way to communicate an emotion, joke, or sentiment in a way that’s eye catching, compact, and conveys more than a simple emoticon can. Who hasn’t been inspired by a cuddly cartoon character offering a hug? Or a bedraggled Keanu Reeves offering a supportive thumbs up? Or a perfectly looping Nyan Cat?
Here’s our favorite picks for creating GIFs through your iOS or Android phone so you turn video clips, photo sequences, and more into custom GIFs.
GIF X (iOS, Free)
GIF X is free and verysimple to use. Simply import a video from your camera roll and start tweaking the clip to your liking. You can add numerous effects and masks to customize the look of the GIF, including adjusting opacity or size to suit a specific need.
Want to import GIFs from Giphy? That’s an option too. which offers a bit of flexibility in GIF selection. You can always choose to save as a movie file rather than a GIF which can be useful in certain situations. The focus is very much on flexibility, making it a good all rounder for folks who want to play around with GIFs but aren’t sure where to start.
Giphy Cam (iOS/Android, Free)
As the biggest GIF search engine out there, it makes sense that Giphy would have its own app for creating such GIFs. Giphy Cam is that tool, available for both iOS and Android.
The app’s focus is on helping you convert your videos and still images into GIFs and the way it goes about it is distinctly quirky stuff—just look at those screenshots—with options to add silly stickers, texts, and frames to your images. It’s quirky, it’s fast, and it’s definitely appealing to people with limited experience with image editing.
GIF Maker (iOS, Free)
GIF Maker is particularly great if you’re one of those people that loves to share cute personal GIFs with friends and family. (Yes, I’m talking about myself.) You can create a GIF from a photo, video, or live photo, before adding a fun caption to highlight a certain occasion. The easy meme-style captioning opens up your designs to cute things about love, a fun happy birthday message, or a simple ‘It’s Friyay!’.
While it’s not going to be quite as practical as some of the other GIF making apps we’re showcasing, GIF Maker is a lot of fun when it comes to making a more intimate or personable GIF. There’s the usual selection of options for tweaking frame speeds, or adding filters too.
GIF Maker – GIF Editor (Android, Free)
Not to be confused with the iOS app of the same name, this one is a little more rudimentary looking but just as useful. Through it, you’re able to cut and crop videos, as well as create a GIF from series of static images.
Both methods are pretty simple and it’s easy to tweak frame speed to get the desired effect. Once past that stage, it’s just as simple to add color effects, different fonts, and so forth. Filters can also be applied (but do expect a bit of an Instagram experience with intense filters you may want to tone down a bit). Once you’ve wrapped things up, there are plenty of different sources you can upload to including Giphy, Imgur, or simply send them over to your friend via your favorite social network.
Camera MX (Android, Free)
Camera MX‘s focus isn’t so much on making GIFs from cartoons or videos you’ve grabbed from external sources. Instead, the focus is on bringing your photos to life. The app includes a “Live Shot” function that is very similar to the Live Photo feature on iPhones. Not only can you turn those Live Shots into GIFs but you can also scrub forwards and backwards within them to capture exactly the moment you want to immortalize as a GIF.
It won’t be for every situation as it’s squarely focused on photography rather than meme creations, but for those moments where you’re capturing memories and not just goofing around, it’s ideal.
Pixel Animator:GIF Maker (Android, Free)
All the other apps we’ve highlighted are based around the idea of using existing photos or videos to make a GIF. Pixel Animator takes a radically more hands on approach: you create every single pixel of a GIF. It’s a powerful little tool for Android that helps you create little sprites much like if you were sketching out drawings in a flip book.
It’ll definitely take some practice to truly master and certainly won’t appeal to those keen to finish things quickly, but it’s satisfying stuff. In the free version, you can create a 15 frame GIF and for a few bucks you can unlock unlimited frames. For those feeling restricted by current GIF options, it’s a ton of fun.