One of the few substantive changes in Android 7.1 was the addition of GIFs in the keyboard. When typing in a supported app, you can use the GIF button to drop in an image. This was only working on Android 7.1 previously, but the new Gboard keyboard update changes that.
Gboard is an update to Google Keyboard, but it's much more than a name change. For one, the GIF button is always available at the bottom of the emoji panel. It will be inactive in most apps—tapping it pulls up a toast notification telling you the field does not support GIF insertion. Apps like Hangouts and Messenger have support, so you can access GIFs right from the keyboard. In Gboard, this feature is no longer contingent on having Android 7.1.
Keyboard image support is now available in the v13 Support Library, which means this feature should work on versions of Android as far back as 3.2 Honeycomb. It's possible that other keyboard apps like SwiftKey could add support for GIFs using this method. For now, you can enjoy GIFs in Gboard on all modern devices.
- +Artem Russakovskii