Apple revealed iOS 11 at WWDC this month, and enthusiastic developers have enjoyed trying out the new features and even searching out features that are new but not officially announced. One such feature is native support for animated GIFs in the Photos app in iOS. While not technically a new feature for iOS, it is a much-needed improvement because it lacks native animated GIF support in its current form.
iOS 11 brings updates to Photos app
Reddit users who have been able to experiment with the iOS 11 beta identified the new native support for animated GIFs inside the Photos app. Apple added animated GIF support to iOS 10, but it was a sort of half-hearted effort with a great deal of limitations. Critics felt that the GIF feature in the Photos app in iOS 10 was rather static, as Apple device users were able to share and save animated GIFs.
However, the Photos app in the current version of iOS lacks native support to play them. Instead, users had to rely on third-party apps to play animated GIFs. Previously, the closest thing to animated GIFs was Live Photos, which could be viewed via the 3D Touch function on the iPhone.
How the native support for animated GIFs works
When iOS 11 is finally pushed out to the masses, Apple’s native Photos app will be able to load all of the animated content that’s inside of GIF files. As Redmond Pie notes, the new filesystem will also make it easier to find animated GIFs because it will put all of them in a new type of intelligent folder titled Animated.
The folder looks to be similar to the intelligent folders for Bursts and Screenshots, which are already found in iOS. The operating system basically identifies these files by type and then groups them into special folders to make them easier to find. Those who are trying out the iOS 11 beta should be able to load the Photos app and then look in the Animated folder to see any animated GIFs they already have.
Sharing animated GIFs works the same way it already has, except now they can also be viewed inside the Photos app rather than having to load up a third-party app or messaging platform to be able to view them. Given their rise in popularity, it makes sense that Apple would finally add native support for them to the Photos app.