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App Review: Giffiti

The GIF revolution continues. Facebook have added a GIF function to messaging, Tumblr TV is going strong and more GIF searching functions continue to emerge to help people find the right little animated image of the guy from Family Feud reacting to something lewd. To be honest I'm kind of astounded that it's taken them this long to blow up to this degree, but better late than never.

As such, a whole new compliment of GIF-centric apps have appeared on the market. The latest, most interesting one is called Giffiti and as the name kind of suggests, it's all about applying GIFs to other images, thereby jazzing them up (or ruining them, situation depending). It was developed by Nalin Mittal and Tim Jones on a 3 week break from developing another, far more complicated app that makes birthday montages.

Neither one of them expected it to do particularly well, but after posting about it on Reddit, Giffiti blew up in a big way, pulling in over 1,000 5 star reviews in a single day and climbing up to 14 on the US iOS entertainment app chart. Is it deserving of such high praise? Well I downloaded it to find out for myself.

A picture I took in the Gower Peninsula, with 100% more aliens.

The interface is clean and simple, you choose an image from your stored photos, resize it using a grid template and then you're given a list of just over 100 GIFs to choose from. These range from classic memetic fare to basic flourishes to slightly weirder, left of field things. Michael Jackson pops up a fair few times. Once selected, you can move, resize and angle the GIF as you see fit and once you're happy, you finalise the image. 

Adam, from our sales team, shortly following a recent melon incident.
The GIF accurately reflects his attitude at the time

Sadly, you can only apply one GIF to each individual image, the resolution remains to a high standard no matter how big or small you make it, but it's a shame that such a basic function as multiple GIFs on a single image is absent. Another key drawback is the resizing and angling interface, it's very easy to accidentally tilt or scale a picture or GIF, but pretty difficult to move it back to where it was, and since the GIFs continue to animate as you move them about, judging placement can be a bit of a ballache. The selection, thus far, is great. It covers a lot of bases and the developers clearly plan to keep adding more.

I don't really have many GIF-appropriate images on my phone,
but I just had to find one for this.
The sharing options enable you to share GIFs directly to either Instagram or Twitter, as well as saving them to your camera or video roll. I did try and cheat by putting a premade GIF into the app and adding another one, but it didn't work. Overall, it's a nice, if limited little distraction which would benefit massively from a few basic upgrades (smoother interface, adding mutliple GIFs to one image) and cross the boundary to essential with a few more large scale additions (custom animations, GIF searching function). It's early days yet, but the unexpected popularity of the app suggests that Mittal and Jones are going to give it plenty of TLC to make sure the trend continues.

Jones himself had some promising things to say on the matter. "We're focused around keeping our GIF sticker selection fresh." He said. "We're receiving a ton of user submitted content and will soon let our users submit their own GIFs from within the app, which they can then share with others. Android is in the works and almost complete."

Overall, we give Giffiti a Songbird Rating of 3 stars out of 5!

Callum Davies

Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF

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App Review: Giffiti Reviewed by Unknown on Thursday, September 03, 2015 Rating: 5

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