Gif Shop is a really creative and fun app that allows you to easily make and share animated gifs. Available on the iPhone, iPad 2 & iPod touch 4th gen, in just two weeks there are now 50,000 shared Gifs made with the app. From personal experience, one silly test posting to FaceBook and I got several people asking me how I did it, so it seems like the developers of this app may really have hit on something.
There are some very cool examples of how this app can used on the official Gif Shop Tumblr, check it out. For example, you could:
There’s also a how to video on the official site.
In only two weeks Gif Shop has resulted in 50,000 animated Gifs being shared! To celebrate the developers are having a limited time 50% off flash sale – you can get Gif Shop now for only 0.99c!
Making An Animation
Fire up Gif Shop and it opens as a camera ready to start shooting your first animated gif (the first time you start the app there’s a cute overlay explaining the various buttons). The app has thought out the pitfalls of making stop motion animation (especially if you don’t have a tripod and adaptor) – the center of the screen has a circle overlay (which is also the shutter release) to help you keep your framing right and the frames of your animation are onion skinned. For those who don’t know, onion skinning is a term for the transparent overlay of frames.
You can increase or decrease the onion skin transparency by clicking the settings icon in the lower right hand corner – here you can also select between lower or higher resolution images.
Frames of the animation appear on the right of the screen as you take them and you can easily remove unwanted frames by selecting & deleting.
Sharing Your Animations
You will need to create an account with Gif Shop in order to share online, which gets around the various issues with sharing animated gifs – Gif Shop host the images for you and you can share to FaceBook, Twitter, Tumbler or just grab the URL and post it wherever you like yourself. Or you can choose to simply email the gifs or send them via mms.
There are a couple of issues with the interface, for example the Share Online screen has a button called Done which is actually the button to press when you want to upload your file – I would prefer to see this labelled Share Now to avoid accidental shares, and the Cancel button on the same screen should then be labelled Back (or indeed Done).
I was also unsure of what Copy Share URL meant, but I now understand that the app uploads the animation and copies the URL for you to paste where you see fit.
Currently once you have uploaded an animated gif there is no way to delete the online version, but the developers have assured me they are working hard on a management interface for uploaded gifs and it should be available in the next update.
On your history screen you have a graphical list of all the animations you have made, the ones you have shared will have a little Gif Shop camera icon in the lower right hand corner.
If you play your Gif you will see a little icon with two circular arrows indicating the gif is looping, you can touch this icon to change to a linear back and forth animation mode.
My Wish List Features
It would be nice if you could name your gifs as well, I made several similar gifs and it was almost impossible to tell which was which afterward without watching them.
At some point in the future it would be nice to see some image editing features introduced such as cropping and colour adjustments or filters. A full screen shutter release would be sweet, and the option for frame interpolation could be really handy too.
Verdict & Rating
Priced at $1.99, Gif Shop is a really fun app, the functionality is very clever and it produces great results, the interface design could do with improvement, but don’t let a little thing like that stop you from making creative and fun animated gifs!
Rating: 4 Stars.
- Excellent idea – does one thing, does it well
- Really easy to make the animations
- Easy to share your animations online
- It’s FUN!
- Can’t delete uploaded files currently – should be in next update though
- Interface needs a little improvement, can be confusing