How to make a GIF on your iPhone

As the internet has over the past 30 years turned into something like an engineering paradise, the Popularity of low-tech animated GIFs in the age of social media has withstood better than most observers imagine. 


How to make a GIF on your iPhone
Make a GIF on your iPhone


Whereas in the old days before the year 2000 you needed a computer graphics program to bring a series of still images to life, today GIF creation is automated so all you need is your smartphone. There are many ways to create GIFs on your iPhone, from using Apple Live Photos to third-party apps. We'll show you how to do this.


Use option a live photo

You can easily create GIF animation with Live Photos on your iPhone. Apple first released Live Photos on the iPhone 6S in 2015, and among the many great features of this feature, it can be easily converted to GIF. 

The live image is actually a three-second video clip - the phone records video for 1.5 seconds before pressing the shutter button for 1.5 seconds after clicking - resulting in full video with audio. Here's how to convert that to GIF in iOS 14.

  1. Take a photo directly by launching the camera app and clicking the Bullseye icon at the top right of the screen so that a moving image appears and the yellow “Live” badge appears.
  2. To convert an image to a GIF file, launch the Photos app and tap Albums at the bottom of the window.
  3. Under Media types, tap Live Photos.
  4. Choose the image you want to work with and swipe up.
  5. You will see the selections for Live, Loop, Bounce, and Long Exposure - use either Loop or Bounce for animation.
  6. Loop silently plays the three-second live photo in the loop, successfully converting the live photo to GIF.
  7. Bounce, which is another type of animation, plays the live image forward and backward.

Choose a GIF in Messages

If you are not interested in creating your own original GIF from scratch, try Apple Messages Finder for GIFs. Add a GIF from #Images in the Messages app on iPhone to find and share GIFs.

  1. Open messages and enter a contact or tap an existing conversation.
  2. Click Find Images to search for a specific GIF or enter a keyword.
  3. Tap on a GIF to add it to your message.
  4. Click Submit.

Use the Shortcuts app

In iOS 14, if you hold down the shutter key on the camera longer than it takes to capture a single photo, the program will automatically launch the video camera instead of taking photos, as it did in the previous versions. 

Now, to get a burst photo - multiple stills with full precision - you have to click and hold the shutter button while moving it to the left - a movement that takes some getting used to. Burst photos, when viewed sequentially, are similar to animation designed to capture motion or create special effects when you don't want to shoot a video. 

They are especially useful for creating animated GIFs on your iPhone with the built-in Shortcuts app. Here's how to do it.

  1. Run the Shortcuts app - it comes preinstalled on your phone with iOS 12 and later.
  2. Find and download the Convert Burst to GIF shortcut. While you're at it, also download the converted video to GIF shortcut. If none of them appear during your search, you can find them via Gallery> Photography> Convert Continuous Images to GIF or Gallery> All GIFs.
  3. You might be asked to allow the app to access your photos or videos, so allow it.
  4. Run the shortcut by clicking on the arrow at the bottom right of the window. It will display a list of all your consecutive photos.
  5. Select one and it will quickly convert to GIF.
  6. Click Done and you'll be prompted to share the GIF or save it to photos.


Make a GIF on your iPhone
Make and send a GIF on your iPhone


Just use Giphy

The free app Giphy, the most popular GIF maker available, is a study of visual madness. Giphy is now owned by Facebook, but the app is still available on the App Store, as always. The only difference is that you now need to create an account and then sign in with Facebook, your Apple ID, or through facial recognition. 

With Giphy, you can choose from countless free GIFs for any purpose imaginable. You can also use your own photos from your photos or take a new photo or video and decorate it with animated stickers, texts, filters, and augmented reality (AR) effects. Giphy walks you through each step of the process, allowing for as many experiences as possible before saving your GIF file.

  1. Download Giphy from the App Store.
  2. Sign in with Facebook or your Apple ID.
  3. Follow the prompts to create a new GIF file.
  4. Allow Giphy to access your camera and photos. You can control which photos Giphy can use if you want.
  5. Add all kinds of moving elements to your photo.
  6. Or use the predefined Giphy files in the category of your choice.
  7. Save, upload to Giphy or share with your friends.


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