Gifture offers users a way to easily create and share animated GIFs
At first glance, Gifture may look like just another wannabe Instagram—complete with lo-fi filters, a tilt-shift feature, and a familiar-looking activity feed. But Toaast Inc.'s app is much more than just another Instagram alternative because it allows you to create and share animated GIFs from either your iPhone's Camera Roll or immediately from original shots. Better still, this free app lets you accomplish GIF animations in just a few seconds.
To get started, create a Gifture account by signing in with your existing Facebook or Twitter account or your email address.
Instagram users will feel at home with the app's interface because of its similar layout and navigation. Icons on the bottom (in Portrait orientation) direct you to different parts of the app: Feed shows a feed of your images; Popular streams images from other users; Activity documents likes, comments, and favorites for your animations and users you are following; and Account lets you view and change your settings.
To create an animation, tap the camera icon and start shooting the photos you want to use in the sequence. You can shoot in either Auto or Manual mode. Use Auto mode to achieve a video-like effect or Manual mode to create a motion effect with a series of stills. Alternatively, you can simply retrieve existing images from your Camera Roll. Once you have selected your photos, tap the checkmark to move, scale, and/or apply one of the app's seven lo-fi filters (Black & White, Sepia, Pop, False Color, Monochrome, Vibrance, and Invert).
Unfortunately, applying filters is an all or nothing proposition. While I like having the option to add filters to my GIFs, I wish it were possible to apply filters to individual photos in the sequence.
Tap the Edit Photos button on the canvas to delete any unwanted images from the set and use the clock icon to change the frame rate—you can choose between one and 10 frames per second. The conversion process takes only a few seconds, after which you can share your GIF with other Gifture users or via Facebook and Twitter.
You can also use Gifture for editing and sharing individual images, as you would with Instagram or other photo-sharing apps. This is a good option to include, but if you are primarily looking to share standalone images, I suggest using a different app. Gifture's filter selection and its sharing options are limited, whereas there are plenty of other apps—Picplz, Camera Awesome, and of course, Instagram, for example—that are better at both.
That brings me to the biggest problem with Gifture: the lack of expansive sharing choices within the app. I was particularly disappointed by lack of direct integration with Tumblr. When you post a Gifture-created GIF to Facebook or Twitter, you are actually posting a link to your creation, which is hosted on Gifture’s image hosting site (similar to twitpic or other social image hosting services). To be fair, once posted, there is a link for sharing with Tumblr, but not from within the app itself.
Despite a few holes, this brand new app has an impressive level of user interaction. And Toaast Inc. seems responsive to user feedback. A support forum is available for users who want to comment, report bugs, or ask questions.
Gifture is compatible with iOS devices running iOS 5.0 or later.
[Karissa Bell is a Macworld editorial intern. Follow her on Twitter.]