how you pronounce it, there’s no denying that the GIF has taken a graceful tumble from Tumblr into the rest of our digital lives. You can use GIFs to share expressive reactions in emails, texts, and even work messages. And now, there are a ton of new apps to help you make them.
F*ck Jerry to our favorite hipster filter-makers at VSCO Cam, it seems that nearly everyone wants to get into the moving-picture game. (Cue Reel 2 Real’s '90s reggae dance hit “I Like To Move It," because that's what's happening on our phones right now.)
“But how many GIF apps does one really need?” you ask. We’ll let you be the judge. After all, only
you truly know how demanding your GIF-creation needs are. But to make things easier, here’s our roster of the top 27 GIF-making apps. Read on to figure out which ones make sense for your home screen.
MomentoIf you already have live photos or video in your camera roll that you want to turn into GIFs, Momento is a good app to do it with. You can add fun AR effects like confetti or balloons, as well as filters. Plus, speed and trim tools give you additional control over what the viewer should focus on in your GIF.
GIFO Why settle for one GIF when you could have four? GIFO let's you create "GIF collages" — a set of four different GIFs that play at once. You'll record each frame individually, and then have the option to add text, filters, and other personalizing details.
BurstKey BurstKey is one of the simpler GIF creators out there, but it has all the key elements. You can add a filter before filming your GIF (some cost money, others are free). Then, simply press and hold the record button. Afterwards, you'll see various sharing options. If you tend to text GIFs rather than post them to Instagram or Facebook, add BurstKey to your texting keyboards so you can keep all your GIFs in one place and easily paste them directly into messages.
Cooler Let's face it: A good portion of the GIFs you make are probably based on weird expressions and strange scenes from your favorite shows. But finding the exact moment you want to capture can prove tricky. Cooler solves that problem. When you sign up for the app, pick your favorite shows (you can always add more or change these later). Then, select which season you're caught up to so you can avoid spoilers. Cooler will create a feed, showing you some of the scenes that have been most popular, which you can choose to customize your own GIF. Don't see the one you want? You can use the app like Shazam — simply tap "Sync TV" along the bottom toolbar and Cooler will listen to what your watching and locate the scene so you can make your GIF and earn all the retweets.
GIF: Courtesy of GIPHY.
GIF Maker For Mobile Web Don't feel like downloading yet another app? GIPHY's new web-based GIF making tool is for you. You can turn still images from your camera roll into GIFs and add playful captions, fun, animated graphics, and glittery paint.
Postto Postto lets you turn any photo into a Gif by syncing your photo library with the app and applying playful effects that animate your image. You can also add stickers if you're feeling so inclined.
Photo: Polaroid Swing/App Store.
Polaroid Swing Polaroid Swing isn't a GIF creator per say, but the app creates moving photos that act a lot like GIFs. Take a one-second video of a moving image, be it hair blowing in the wind, the swish of a dress, or someone waving. When you touch the image, it will move or you can move your iPhone from left to right for the same effect. You can share the images to Instagram and Facebook with a single tap.
Photo: GIPHY Says.
GIPHY Says You can't hear words in a GIF, but with GIPHY Says you can get your words on screen. Just press record, speak loudly, and the app turns your spoken words into words onscreen. You can move them around and play with the size before instantly sharing via iMessage, Facebook, or Instagram.
Photo: GIF Maker.
GIF Maker If you want to take a more playful approach to your GIFs, download GIF Maker. The app stands out from others for its fun selection of fonts and stickers, which you can resize and place anywhere on your image.
Snow Snow is known for its many Snapchat-like lenses, but the app also has a Gif maker worth using. It lets you add filters, put on flower crowns, and add other playful, animated filters.
Photo: Emoji Me Face Maker.
Emoji Me Face Maker Emoji Me Face Maker is similar to Bitmoji, but turns the animated character you've created into a gif. You can choose to have yours raise a glass, throw a snowball, blow a kiss, and more, although some actions will cost an extra fee in-app.
Photo: Motion Moving Gif Pictures + Gif Maker for Photo.
Motion Moving Gif Pictures + Gif Maker for Photo The Motion Moving Gif Pictures app lets you turn live photos into Gifs. What sets it apart from other Gif makers, though, is the ability to edit those Gifs. You can add filters, adjust the speed, and change the playback to make sure it appears exactly as you want it to.
Photo: GIF Keyboard.
GIF Keyboard GIF Keyboard is easier to use than many other GIF apps because it lives right within the Messages app. Once you add the keyboard, you can use it to easily search for great GIFs or to make and text your own without having to hop from one app to another.
Photo: GIF Camera.
GIF Camera This one is strictly for Android phone owners. GIF Camera lets you shoot video that is then transformed instantly and easily into a GIF. You can adjust the frame rate and delete extra frames if you want to tweak what you recorded, and then save your GIF in the app, or share it with friends. The app has a section where you can browse funny GIFs, too.
Photo: GIF Editor.
GIF Editor GIF Editor is basically a photo- editing app for GIFs. After you take your GIF using either video or burst mode, you can add filters, colorful backgrounds, and text. You also have the option to adjust the speed, so you can go with super slow motion or fast-forward for a dizzying effect.
LoopVid This app is as simple as GIF-makers get. Take a one-second video of a moving object (longer videos will cost you $$$), and instantly share the resulting video loop on Instagram and Facebook, or via text or email. It will also be saved in your camera roll. Here, a coworker kissing a pumpkin got the glam GIF treatment.
Photo: Courtesy Live Studio.
Live Studio If you want to turn the Live Photos on your iPhone 6s, 6s Plus, or SE into GIFs, this is the app to do it. The $1 Live Studio app makes it incredibly easy to save Live Photos as GIFs or as videos — and it even lets you convert GIFs and videos back into Live Photos, if you want. It's a simple premise and simple app, but it gets the job done.
Photo: Courtesy GIFYme.
GIFYme This GIF-maker incorporates one of our favorite Snapchat features — filters — in order to enhance your endlessly looping creations. GIFYme includes 30 different live filters, which you can then use on slow-motion GIFs, wiggle GIFs, and seamless loops. You can also use the app to create time-lapse animation GIFs. When you're done, you can export your creations, either as GIFs or video files, and share them via your favorite apps, such as Instagram, Tumblr, and WhatsApp.
Photo: Courtesy Google.
Motion Stills Google's free app recently launched and is already earning rave reviews. And for good reason: The app lets you to turn any Live Photo into a high-quality GIF in seconds. Plus, Motion Stills' stabilization technology evens out any choppy filming on your part at the touch of a button. The resulting super-smooth GIF can be shared on Instagram and other social platforms. The first GIF I posted using Motion Stills received double the number of likes my Instagram pictures usually get. Big props to Google.
Photo: Courtesy Giffer.
Giffer Giffer offers a ton of versatility for your GIF-making endeavors. You can create GIFs from your Camera Roll's live photos, burst photos, videos, or pictures (as well as by pulling images from the web, or by copying and pasting them into the app). And then, if you want to share your GIF to Instagram, you can also save your creation as a video. The only catch is it's $3, and sometimes the output quality is on the low side.
Photo: Courtesy Instagram.
Boomerang While technically not a “GIF” maker (a GIF is, after all, just a file type), this Instagram app takes a bunch of photos at once and, it explains, "stitches them together to make a video" that loops. Leaner than most traditional GIF apps, Boomerang is simple and sleek, offering easy shares to Facebook and Instagram (duh), as well as options to save to your camera roll.
Photo: Courtesy Phhhoto.
Phhhoto An oldie (relatively speaking, since it launched almost a year and a half ago), but a goodie, Phhhoto is a veritable social network, with over a million registered users and over 10 million little, looping pieces of content on its platform. Its discovery tab, called “WOW,” showcases some pretty mind-boggling looping videos, and it’s always fun to check in and see the app's latest filters, which it updates frequently to correspond with holidays, seasons, and pop culture trends. Phhhoto is available for iOS and Android.
Photo: Courtesy Ultra Text.
Ultra Text For more textually driven individuals, Ultra Text turns any written message into a brightly colored animated one — and it's compatible with Facebook Messenger to boot. It’s almost as if YO! (Remember that? Yeah, you do) let you say something more than...well, you know. The Ultra Text iOS and Android apps offer a ton of fonts, colors, and stickers that create a dramatic texting GIF. This is particularly useful for attention grabbing when a good old-fashioned text goes unanswered.
Photo: Courtesy Gifx.
GifX If GifX were a senior in a high school full of other GIF-making apps, its yearbook superlative might be “most likely to follow Phish around.” That is to say: GifX is undoubtedly the trippiest of all the GIF-making apps out there — and the quickest way to jazz up your static camera roll. Either take a picture or choose one from your iPhone’s photo library. Then, add a layer of screen-saver-esque movements on top. You can control the opacity of the image's top layer, making the effects more or less obvious. Then, you can save your trippy little snippet as a video or a GIF.
Photo: Courtesy Giffage.
Giffage When something is co-founded by funny guy “F*CK Jerry,” the humor bar is set pretty high. Giffage gives that bar a high five; it’s fun “AF,” as they say. The iOS app uses the GIPHY library as its GIF source and includes all of GIPHY's awesome categorizations — like a dedicated corgi category, for example. Swiping down gives you a menu of search options, organized by categories, trending, and things you’ve “loved,” and swiping left will give you an almost-endless horizontal feed of moving images. The coolest feature is the ability to invent your own category and have access to your creations (along with any other GIFs in the app) right from your keyboard. Who needs the eye-roll emoji when you can just send a GIF of your very own eyeballs?
Photo: Courtesy VSCO Cam.
DSCO Cam Leave it to the team that brought you VSCO Cam to make GIFs feel less like deep internet humor and more, well, “cool.” This is the app for the more refined GIF-maker, if you will. You can hold your finger on the shutter for a longer GIF, or just tap for a quick, moving loop. There’s a slick left swipe that takes you through signature VSCO filters, such as M5, A6, and B1, plus a new, MTV rainbow-hued overlay. Another subtle, two-finger swipe-down gesture will take you to your settings. Once you’re satisfied with your GIF, tapping “publish to VSCO” will share your creation to the VSCO community, automatically save it to your camera roll, and then offer up other standard Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and Instagram shares. It's available on iOS only, for now.
Photo: Courtesy GIPHY.
GIPHY Cam It makes sense that GIPHY Cam would snag the top spot on our list. GIPHY has been the best at bringing “all the GIFs” to the internet since its inception in 2013. Its latest iOS app for actually making gifs, Giphy Cam, is evidence that its team just gets it. GIPHY's super-clean and straightforward user flow lets you hold the shutter to record a long GIF (something DSCO Cam also adopted) or tap for a looping GIF. But what really wins it for GIPHY Cam is its superb selection of filters and effects. From adding a “VHS” grainy blur to superimposed cats, tears, and tacos, this app is easy to use, endlessly entertaining, and just all-around fun.