GIFs have ruled the internet for the past three decades, and while other image file formats offer more colors and better compression, they just can't touch GIF's trump card: animation. People use these eye-catchy animations everywhere, whether expressing their mood, or reacting to a meme on platforms like Instagram or Twitter. If you're tired of using the same GIFs over and over, there are plenty of tools around for making your own animations. Soon, even your Chromebook may be lending its hand to help create your goofiest GIF yet.
The camera on Chrome OS has remained unchanged for years, and the lack of new features could have you thinking that development has stagnated. Thankfully, Google hasn't completely abandoned the app, and it's set to soon become way more useful with a the help of a document and QR code scanner. Aside from being a productivity tool, the camera is also picking up a fun twist: A tipster recently spotted ongoing work in the Chromium Gerrit that adds a GIF maker right into the camera app. Once implemented, it'll be way easier to create your own goofy animated selfies on your Chrome laptop, putting a new spin on your reactions.
Creating a GIF will be as easy as opening the camera app on your Chromebook.
Since details about the implementation are still sparse, we're not exactly sure how it will operate (it's probably not Motion photos like on Pixels). This work-in-progress commit offers clues of what it'll do, though, like reducing the color palette to match a GIF's requirement and compressing the animation with LZW. We don't know exactly where you'll be able to access the GIF maker when Google officially releases it for Chromebooks, but you should be able to try it out through the developer-orientated Expert feature soon if you're on the Canary channel.
GIF makers are definitely a fun way of creating a unique spin on your animated reactions, and I look forward to testing the Chrome OS camera version of it soon. The slew of upcoming camera features is proof that Google hasn't completely abandoned its app (despite the lack of Chrome tablets available to take advantage of the improvements). It probably won't be a Giphy replacement anytime soon, though, since it's lacking extra customization options like filters and stickers. Still, offering a native solution is definitely more convenient whenever you want to create a quick GIF selfie, and I hope video tools are something Google has planned for it in the future. We'll update you when we're able to get the GIF maker working on our Chromebooks soon.
- Hamzah Malik