The Easiest Way to Make an Animated GIF
The looping mini-movies have become one of the best ways to express emotions in the digital realm. Excited? Just send dancing Elaine from “Seinfeld.” Surprised? Little Macaulay Culkin smacking aftershave on his face will do. Sad it’s Monday? There’s an animated cat for that!
But if you want to make a GIF of your own, here are the easiest ways:
From photos on iPhone, Android
Google’s brand new Photos app for Android and iPhone makes it beyond easy to create GIFs from your own collection. Hold down on the photos you’d like to include, hit the “+” on the top right and select “Animation.” The app will automatically take care of the hard work and within a few seconds you’ll have your GIF.
You can instantly share it via text message, Twitter or email or you can just select the “Link” option to upload it to a Google site which others can view.
From video on iPhone, Android
Unfortunately, Google Photos doesn’t offer a feature to create a GIF from a video you’ve shot on your phone. For that, I’d suggest Giffer on the iPhone. The $3 app is ad-free and lets you easily import, trim and add text to the video. You can upload it to Giffer’s private site, text or email it.
On Android, try GifBoom. It also lets you import, trim and add text to the video and then download, email or post it to social sites. I find GifBoom’s social features to be very off-putting, but I felt better after I set my account to private.
From video or photos on your computer
On a computer, real GIF experts use Photoshop to stitch photos together. The dead simple solution, however, is to use a website like MakeaGIF.com. You have to sign up for an account to make private unwatermarked GIFs. But after that it’s easy: Upload the photos or videos and it’s all ready to download or share.
Imgur, one of the most popular GIF hosting sites, also has an easy video tool. If your video is on YouTube or Vimeo you can just paste in the link and make a video right on the Imgur site. Giphy allows you to easily upload a local video and make a private GIF, too.