GIFs and videos are a mainstay of social media. These days it’s rarer to see a still photo online, and the ease with which you can add movement and filter effects to your photos has seen a proliferation of these animated images online.
So what if you want to animate a still photo, adding movement to a stationary moment in time? Well, there’s an app for that. Actually, there are many apps for that. Here are the best apps you can use to animate photos on Android and iPhone.
Pixaloop is the first app on our list, and for good reason. This app is one of the top-reviewed, with over 59,000 starred ratings in the iOS app store as of last count.
Pixaloop is free to use, although there’s a Pro and subscription version, too. Unlike a lot of the other photo animators out there, it doesn’t put a watermark over your image when you download it to your phone.
The app’s primary purpose is animating still photos and turning them into short, looping videos. You do this by programming directional cues into your image by dragging your thumb across the screen.
You can also “freeze” parts of your image, and apply filters on top of your picture to create an “atmosphere” within your image.
Download: Pixaloop for Android | iOS (Free, with premium and subscription versions available)
Unfortunately Pixaloop saves your animated still photos in video format unless you’ve paid for a Pro account. So if you’re looking to convert animated photos into GIFs, here’s how to convert a video into a GIF.
Werble acts in the same way as Pixaloop. Its primary purpose is to animate your photos, and while the basic account is free, in-app purchases are also available. Most of Werble’s animations are done through the filter effects that you can add on top of your pictures.
An upside to Werble is that it automatically saves these pictures as GIFs, so they’re ready to use online. The downside? To remove the watermark that they place on your image, you need to pay. That watermark is definitely big enough to be annoying.
NB: Werble is available on both Android and iOS, but with such poor reviews we cannot recommend the Android version.
Download: Werble for iOS (Free, in-app purchases available)
Most of you already know GIPHY as the mega search engine for all things related to GIFs. We’ve also talked about how it can be used to rank the popularity of your favorite GIFsbefore.
As the premier place where you can upload and find reaction memes for anything under the sun, GIPHY has a mobile app too: one that allows you to create your own GIFs and animate photos. You can upload them by using their built-in animation tools on the platform.
We really love GIPHY for its ease-of-use and intuitive interface. It includes a sticker maker (available for iPhone X and later), and you can also add captions to your animated photos or shoot your own short videos. GIPHY is definitely worth a try.
Download: GIPHY for Android | iOS (Free)
ImgPlay is another app you can use to animate photos. Think of it like a mashup between Pixaloop and Werble. It creates ready-to-use animated photos for the web, and has advanced, easy-to-understand controls. Unfortunately, it also sticks a watermark on your image: one that you can’t remove unless you upgrade to a full account.
In ImgPlay, the process of making animated photos and GIFs can be done a couple of different ways. You can lay out still photographs side-by-side, use burst photos, or videos.
Download: ImgPlay for Android | iOS (Free, premium version available)
5. Movepic – Photo Motion
Movepic is one of our favorite photo animators on this list, and if it wasn’t for the watermark on your image it would be pretty much perfect.
This app is similar to Pixaloop in that it animates photos, but a large chunk of this animation can be done with its built-in overlays and filters.
For my own experiment with this program, I took a picture of a bush outside my house in the summer. Then I added some color overlays and a snow filter to see if I could make it look more like a Christmas tree. The change was really cool.
The downside—as mentioned—is that you can’t remove the watermark without upgrading to a VIP account. Movepic also automatically saves your pictures as a movie file instead of a GIF. Despite this it’s still worth checking out though.
Download: Movepic for Android | iOS (Free, premium version available)
6. StoryZ Photo Motion
Despite its boring interface, StoryZ is probably my personal favorite app on this list. It works with still photographs to animate them, and it does this through programmed paths of movement, color filters, and overlays—a lot of which are free and really amazing. It saves your files automatically as GIFs, too.
One of the best things about StoryZ is that you can remove the watermark from your image if you simply watch a quick ad before you save the file. This one’s definitely a keeper if you want to animate photos.
Download: StoryZ for Android | iOS (Free, premium and subscription versions available)
7. Photo Bender
Photo Bender is an Android-specific app that allows you to digitally warp your images to animate photos. You can do this by coloring your image, bending it, stretching it, and using brushes. You can then export your photographs as MP4s, GIFs, JPEGs, and PNGs.
While this app doesn’t have as many ratings as some of the others on this list, it is highly rated, so it’s still worth a look.
Download: Photo Bender for Android (Free)
Animate Photos to Make Them More Exciting
Now that we’ve run through some great apps that can animate your photos, you can pick and choose the ones you want to try out. All of them do roughly the same thing, so you should choose the ones which you think will work for you.
Are you looking for more tools you can use to tweak your smartphone photos? Then check out our article listing the best photo editing apps on Android and iOS.