There are internet memes and then there are the GIFs that you create with your own pictures. We knew that the photo burst feature on our iPhones was meant for greater things and your life will be very sad unless you try it. When iOS developers were given access to that part of the system that “does stuff with photo bursts”, some guys — Martin Velfi and Michal Kos — did the only reasonable thing you could do with it. Turn those paparazzi-style machine gun shots into moving images. This is so revolutionary that newspapers in the future will use this technology prominently in the Harry Potter universe.
Burstio allows you to convert your iPhone photo bursts into video or very amusing GIFs. The beauty of it is that you don’t need to remember to launch the app when an ideal situation presents itself. Just carry on using the regular Photos app and Burstio will be able to load all the photo bursts on your device later on.
The interface is so simple that will take you through the steps. Burstio recognises the bursts on Photos or on your iCloud Photo Library and presents them in a table view. Just tap on one and you will be able to see it played as a video without interruptions.
That’s a great improvement over the native Photos functionality — you can scrub your finger on the editing mode in Photos, but that’s no serious way to play back anything.
The next step is to trim to the part of the action you want to work with. Most GIFs only need to be a few seconds long to convey the message — if you want to call it that. Once you have selected the area you want to edit you can apply some effects. I like my GIFs to loop endlessly and that’s a must-have for me. I guess the loop is part of the beauty of this format. You want to see that funny cat at least 25 times.
If you are looping you want to make sure that the beginning and the end of the clip are going to be matched nicely and create the endless illusion we are going for. The other effects available include Reverse, which will plays your GIF backwards and Yo-Yo movement, which plays the animation continuously, playing it backwards when completed. In playback speed you can choose among three options — I usually go for fast to add a comedic touch in selfies.
How do you share your GIFs?
This is all fantastic so far but when you get to finish your opera prima we need to consider a couple of things that are not super clear. Unfortunately, GIF playback functionality in iOS is seriously limited and there are only a handful of places where you can see your work in its true glory. If you are going to send your GIF to your friends, please consider what kind of app they will be using. In my experience, the Messages app is the recommended option. Sharing a GIF there will preview it beautifully, playing it continuously without any button or any silly GIF indicator.
Twitter is a great place to share your creations but you may struggle to get the image uploaded correctly — your mileage will vary depending on the app and the version you use. Other than that, sharing via email or using third-party messaging apps like WhatsApp, Messenger or Viber will only send a very heavy blurry image.
Martin and Michal have done an amazing job bringing this functionality to iOS with Burstio. If you didn’t know you would say your iPhone photo bursts were originally meant to be used this way. The team has been updating the app with new effects and that’s always welcome. I will definitely continue using Burstio until Apple changes something on iOS 9 that blocks this functionality or, even worse, sherlocks this functionality in iOS 9 or 10. It’s the kind of thing you want to include in your operating system to let GIFs take over the world.