This feature is already available in Gboard for iOS, but to access it on Android, you’ll need the beta build of Gboard. You can enroll in the beta here—just follow the instructions on that page. If you hit any snags, we have a primer on how the beta system works in Google Play that should help.
The good news is that one you have the keyboard installed and ready to go, the process is the same on either platform. Thanks for that, Google.
With a text box open, tap the emoji button. It may be a dedicated button, but it could also be a long-press on the comma—it all depends on how you have the keyboard set up.
At the bottom of the emoji board, tap the “GIF” option. When the GIF menu opens, tap the “My GIFs” button.
When this menu opens, tap the “Make A GIF” button, which will open the camera. You can use the rear or front-facing camera—just change it with the camera button (beside the shutter button on Android and in the top right corner on iOS).
Left: Android; Right: iOS
To shoot your GIF, press the shutter button and hold it. As long as the button is depressed, the GIF is recording—kind of like Instagram Stories.
When you’ve finished recording, what happens next differs a bit in iOS and Android. In iOS, the GIF is copied to the clipboard and you have to paste it into a message manually.
On Android, the GIF is automatically placed in the message as soon as you finish recording.
Also, Android features different scenes you can add to your GIFs. These are accessed through the button to the right of the shutter button. You can then cycle through the scenes by tapping the various options that appear just above the shutter button.
Boom, there you go—a custom GIF with whatever is in front of (or behind?) your camera. Go you.