Creating and sharing GIF files has been a long time internet tradition, dating back to the 90s when broadband wasn’t widely available and most people didn’t have much of a choice but to use GIF animations due to their small size compared to traditional video formats. The concept has seen a recent surge, thanks to apps like Vine from Twitter. Almost a year back, we had Cinemagram that allowed users to do the same, but both Vine and Cinemagram were released for the iOS platform. While Vine still remains iOS-exclusive for now, Cinemagram has finally made its way to Android. In case you haven’t heard about it yet, it lets you record, edit and share ‘Cine’, which are basically small 4-second animated clips or cinemagraphs. The app still has its troubles on certain devices when it comes to editing and the final file output. Let’s dig deeper into it and take Cinemagram for Android for a spin right after the break.
When you first launch the app, you are shown a list of popular Cines shared on the network by others. Tap the ‘Get Started” button on the top-left to begin setting up your Cinemagram profile that you’ll need in order to create your own Cines, follow other users and like or comment on their Cines. You can register for free with your Facebook or Twitter account, or by providing your email address. Once signed in, the app offers to add your friends from Facebook and Twitter. You are then presented with the app’s home screen featuring a list of Cines shared by your friends in a timeline view.
You can browse through the Cines on your timeline, and use the pull-to-refresh gesture to load any newer ones. You have your feeds categorized as Home, Activity and discover along with a Profile page and the obvious Search feature.
If you want to get straight to creating your own, just hit the camera icon on the top-right. The Android version of Cinemagram retains the ‘Hold to record’ button, where you keep holding down and releasing the record button to capture all the parts you require for the video. In addition to this, you get the usual flash on/off and front/back camera toggles in capture mode.
The editing and effects are the same as those found in the iOS version of the app. However, here’s the interesting part. I ran this app on a Galaxy S2 I9100 running an Android 4.2.2-based custom ROM and all was fine till I got to the editing part, which, as you can see from the screenshot above, showed me a corrupted preview. “It’s probably just a big with the on-screen rendering, and the final output would be alright”, is what I thought.
I was wrong. The resultant rendering not only came out corrupted, but the clip’s dimensions were also down to a mere 54×72 pixels. This was tested on another Galaxy S2 running Paranoid Android 4.2, and the results were the same again. However, everything worked just fine when tested on the Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 4.
As you can see above, you get a list of fancy filters that you can apply to your videos. By clicking the ‘fx’ button on the top-left, you can edit a few other parameters pertaining to the video such as the infinite looping settings, the playback speed, and the handy Mask feature that lets you keep certain parts of the clip stationary at a fixed frame, while the rest of it animates. Here’s what the final output looked like from our Nexus 4.
Cinemagram is definitely a much needed and welcome release for the Android platform. However, it has its shortcomings when it comes to working on certain devices such as our Galaxy S II, and we hope things will be fixed soon in an update.
If you have haven’t tried Cinemagram yet, give it a go by downloading it for free from the Google Play Store link provided below. Got a Galaxy S2? Do let us know if it worked on yours.
Haroon Q. Raja contributed to this post.