How to Create Your Own Animated GIFs Using Gboard

Who doesn’t love animated GIFs? Whether it’s Mickey Mouse dancing or a koala munching on eucalyptus while winking at you, these mini videos are hugely popular. Over the years, they’ve become a type of art for the Internet. They are a humorous way to communicate with people in your circle by adding a short animation to an email or text.

It is not difficult to make your own, and using Gboard as the keyboard on your smartphone allows you to create them without opening any other apps. You can even use your own face!

Most of the time you’ll show your GIFs to your friends or family to make them laugh, or maybe to say thank you. What could be a better way to express yourself than with a GIF of your face? Or what about catching a special moment with a child’s reaction to a food or gift?

It’s only been rolled out on iOS at the moment, but you can enroll in the beta and get it for Android and get started right away.

How to get the GIF-creating feature

If you don’t have Gboard on your device, download it and set it as your default keyboard. On iOS you’re ready to go. Jump to the “Make a GIF” section.


For Android users, you can open this page to join the beta testing program for Gboard. Make sure you download this from the same Google account that is on your phone.


Google will send an update to your phone. They say it may take some time, but it was available within minutes on my account.

Open Play Store on your phone, and search for Gboard. If you have the update, you will see a note thanking you for being a beta tester.


Make a GIF

To create a GIF on either platform:

1. Open your messaging app and bring up the Gboard keyboard.


2. Tap the emoji icon.

3. Select the GIF option.


4. Tap “Make a GIF” at the bottom of the screen.

5. Select the front or rear camera option by tapping the camera icon next to the large record button.

There are several different options to choose from if you want to add effects to your GIF. Swipe over the icons across the screen.


6. Press and hold the record button. The inner circle will turn red, and the outer ring will change to red until the full recording time has elapsed.

If that next text you receive requires a response with more emotion than a simple emoji can accurately convey, use a GIF instead. If you want to send a GIF you record with your camera, without opening any additional apps on your device, use this feature of Gboard. It will make your feelings on the matter extremely clear.

Tracey Rosenberger
Tracey Rosenberger

Tracey Rosenberger spent 26 years teaching elementary students, using technology to enhance learning. Now she's excited to share helpful technology with teachers and everyone else who sees tech as intimidating.

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