I have to admit I haven't always been into creating animated GIFs, though I do like seeing them around the interwebs. With the inclusion of animated GIFs in BBM Channels, I slowly became addicted to them, looking for ways to create my own to share in my BBM Channel. Then I recommended an app by another Channel user. As sharing is caring, I thought what better way than to give it a review for our readers.

The app is simply called GIF Animator. It is also very simple to create your animated GIF. There are two types that you can create within the app. A Common GIF and a BBM GIF. Basically the difference being that the BBM one is of a smaller footprint so you can use it for BBM Channels and/or your BBM display picture.

The process of creating a GIF in both sections is the same. However, with the BBM GIFs, you can't have as many frames and the quality is lower so that you have a smaller file size. When using a full touchscreen BlackBerry 10 device there will be on-screen controls. If you're using a BlackBerry 10 device with a physical keyboard (Q10/Q5), you will make use of the spacebar, enter and backspace keys. There is a tutorial for physical keyboard owners when you first launch the app.

You can create GIFs using any of your existing photos or you can take pictures there and then with either the front or back camera. When taking pictures there and then you can choose to do it either manually or automatically. Just as it says on the tin, choosing manual means you have to snap the photo yourself each time. While choosing auto will take shots automatically so you can capture a sequence of things. This can be done in both the Common and BBM sections. The only difference being you only have a maximum of 5 shots to play with in the BBM GIF, where as you can have up to 20 shots with a Common GIF.

Once you have selected your photos or taken your shots just move to the next section and your animated GIF will be created and presented to you. From there you can adjust the speed of the animation.  You can also tweak the the individual photos, removing any you no longer want. There is also the option to add filters to your GIF, as well as movie opening and ending GIFs and frames, just to spice things up a bit more. If you wanted to, you could also rotate your photos too, you can rotate an individual photo or rotate the whole batch in one go. 

Once you're happy with your animated GIF all you need to do is hit save. You can share your newly created GIF or go back and start making some more. Within the app, you can see all your GIFs under whichever section you created them, Common or BBM. You can also find them in the GIFANIMATOR folder in the Photos folder of your device.

I've been using GIF Animator a lot lately and what I found is that Common GIFs can be used as your BBM display picture or shared to BBM Channels if it is below 200kb.

Overall, I find GIF Animator is a pretty solid app if you want to be able to create GIFs on the fly. What's more GIF Animator is free. There is a paid version which gives you a bigger selection of filters, frames and movie GIFs to add to yours. You can see these in the free version but labelled as pro, just so you can see whether or not you'd go for it or not. The paid version is $2.99. GIF Animator is also available for BlackBerry OS devices too. So, if you're not yet rocking a BlackBerry 10 smartphone, you haven't been left out.

Download GIF Animator from BlackBerry World