WhatsApp's GIF support has been rumored and promised and quasi-implemented for months now. In August, we got our first glimpse at GIF support through the option to convert videos with 6sec or less duration to GIFs that could then be shared with any of your contacts. Now, the option that has been hiding in the APK for months, and that some people have enabled with a root hack, is official for all beta testers.
Version 2.16.293 beta of WhatsApp finally adds the third GIFs tab when attaching a media file from the Gallery, next to Photos and Videos. In it, you'll find all the animated GIFs that are saved on your device's storage and you'll be able to pick any one of them, preview it, append a caption to it, and share it with your contact or group.
GIF support in WhatsApp is coming soon. I know it, you know it, we all know it's already baked into the Android app (only requiring a small switch from a root-only app to enable it) and there's even a WhatsApp Animated GIFs folder inside the WhatsApp directory on our local phone's storage that's just taunting us hard. But for those of us who don't want to root our devices or install unofficial hacks, there's light on the horizon.
The first GIF support instance has shown up in WhatsApp and I was able to verify it on beta version 2.16.242.
GIFs and emojis are everywhere. You can't even start a conversation nowadays without some form of graphic popping up in the first 5 exchanged messages. But finding and inserting them isn't always the most seamless of experiences. Whether it's scrolling through endless lists of emojis with the complexity of dealing with different sets and their weird emoji orders and designs, or trying to figure out how each app you're using deals with GIFs, it can take anywhere between a few seconds and a couple of minutes to find the perfect visual to convey your message.
That's where Dango swoops in to provide a better approach.
WhatsApp users (you and me both), it's time to raise your pitchforks and descend into battle. We've asked time and time again for the messaging service to add GIF support, you've whined in the comments section, we've whined in our private conversations with friends that we're sick of sending them links to GIFs and we just wanted, pretty please, to insert a freaking GIF like God Intended Forrealz inside a conversation and have it display just as any other image or video. But no, we still don't have that. Guess who has it as of today though? Viber.
GIFs are great. We all love moving pictures, amirite? It's like being at Hogwarts or something. Giphy, a leader in the 'shareable GIFs' space, has an Android app, but unfortunately it doesn't allow for GIFs to be used anywhere on your phone or tablet. That's where Plughy comes in.
Gfycat is an annoyingly misspelled place to post and retrieve animated GIFs, as well as more fancy-pants WebM videos. It's popular for uses where normal GIFs, which get surprisingly large as they get longer, are unwieldy or hard to embed. The tools on the site chomp standard videos and GIFs down into bite-sized versions, saving tons of bandwidth. The service has been around for a while, but now there's an official Android app... just don't try to download it on the Play Store.
The developers behind the Telegram messaging service are starting off the new year with a few additions to their app — perhaps with the hopes of keeping their 5.7 million new users hooked. Version 3.4.0 brings faster GIFs and inline bots that are accessible within chats.
Here's the full changelog:
GIF revolution: up to 20x faster downloading, autoplay, save GIFs to a dedicated tab on the sticker panel.
More about GIFs:
Inline bots: A new way to add bot content to any chat. Type a bot's username and your query in the text field to get instant results and send them to your chat partner.
One of the greatest problems in stock Android since the debut of Lollipop last year has been the volume slider - putting aside Lollipop's initially confusing volume modes, the slider unceremoniously pops into place when the user hits the volume keys on their device. Of course I'm kidding, but nevertheless it looks like Google has enhanced the volume controls in the latest Marshmallow dev preview with some motion design love.
Now, when users hit a volume key, the panel slides into place from off canvas. The slider's current position is highlighted with its own translucent halo (which may or may not really be necessary).
I dare you to try and get through this story without getting Devo lyrics stuck in your head. Ready? Here we go: FireWhip is a casual game from developer Trichotomy that's unlike just about anything on the Play Store, despite its simplicity. You play a tiny pixelated blob which, for reasons that aren't adequately explained, has a whip made of fire. The objective is to kill as many bad guys (also represented by pixelated blobs) as possible, in a sort of 360-degree version of a top-down shooter.
The unique part of FireWhip is the control scheme. To activate your whip you simply swipe in a circle, the faster the spin, the longer and more powerful the whip.
Android Lollipop has started rolling out to people in the months since version 3.3 of Fleksy hit the Play Store, and the third-party keyboard's developers aren't just settling for giving the next release a material theme. The beta contains a new interface, plenty of new themes, and keyboard extensions. This last category is the one we're most excited to see.
The Material keyboard themes look less like Google's and more like simple recolored versions of Fleksy, and while they're not particularly exciting, at least they're not indicative of the effort the developers have taken to make the app look at home on Android 5.0.