Native GIF Support!

No matter how you pronounce GIF, you can now see them on your Tidbyt using the Photo applet! Just make sure you’re using the mobile app version 1.95.27 or later to unlock unlimited GIF potential :zap:


Share your GIFs that look great on the Tidbyt!


@mark Hello. I’ve added .gif files in the photo app to my Tidbyt, but they aren’t animating. It is just showing the static image. Any advice on how to fix?

@Milsionaire I’m having the same problem – a static image of the first frame of the .gif is displaying, but no animation.

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@mark Also, I’m using version 1.96.77. Should have made that clear in the first post. :slight_smile:

Hey. If you have a GIF file that doesn’t work properly, we’d love it if you could send it via email to [email protected] so we can take a closer look. It’s a surprisingly tricky file format to deal with, so any help we can get ironing out potential bugs is super helpful. =)

Gifs also don’t animate for me. I’m on 1.96.77 as well. This is for every gif I try, no matter the source or size. I cant find a single one that works and I’ve tried several. Could it be a device bug? I’m trying this on an iPhone 12 Pro.

We tested GIF support on an iPhone 13 Pro, iPhone Xs, and an iPhone 5s before release (as well as an equal number of Android phones). These were all physical devices. It would be pretty weird if there was something special about an iPhone 12. With that being said, we do have another report of the same behavior on a iPhone 12 Pro Max where the GIFs don’t animate.

@Millsionaire @oaciva any chance you both have an iPhone 12? :smiley:

We’re committed to getting this resolved, but we’re going to need to find a few more data points to really get this narrowed down.

Hey @mark, I was able to get gifs to animate on the Tidbyt, but I had to edit them to be exactly 64 * 32 and push them manually via the API. I actually wrote a script to automate pushing new gifs added up to the Tidbyt. Is the photo app in the mobile app supposed to resize/crop gifs to fit on the Tidbyt? I noticed it resizes images already. I’m wondering if that was the issue all along.

iPhone 12 Pro Max here… GIFs not working for me either, only the first frame (static image) will show up.

I tried uploading a GIF via my 12 Pro Max and it worked for me! No issues on my 13 Pro Max either! :sunglasses:

Absolutely adore my Tidbyt!! Roommates are so impressed, however gifs don’t work regardless of size or shape. iPhone 11 here!

Uploading GIFs from the Tidbyt app is working great for myself w/ the following setup.

iPhone 13 Pro Max
iOS 15.3 beta
Tidbyt app v 1.96.77

It does seem the conversation from high rez to pixel might cause some lag in the animation of some tho.

Is there a frame rate that works best for gifs? I have some at 15 second 10fps that seem to be running at triple speed.

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Hi folks! Some updates here.

GIFs Loading as Stills

A customer did some investigative work and was able to root cause the issue! It’s a permissions issue - if the Tidbyt mobile app does not have permission to use a GIF selected, it will render a still. To work around the issue, go to Settings > Tidbyt > Photos and either select All Photos or Edit Selected Photos and ensure the GIF is selected.

We’re working on a fix to ensure only images we have permission to use show up in the gallery and appear on the device.

Optimal GIF Settings

We’ve gotten a few questions regarding optimal GIF settings or specific animations not rendering as expected. The short version:

  • Design your GIFs to be 64x32 pixels from the start
  • Ensure the finished GIF is 128KB or less
  • Make sure your GIF is 15 seconds in length or make sure it loops cleanly if it’s less then 15 seconds.

The longer version is that there are a few limitations on our end that serve as a forcing function here. The first one being the most obvious - our display is 64x32 pixels. If there is a GIF that’s larger than 64x32 pixels, we have to scale it down. In practice, we’ve found that images scaled down to this resolution don’t look near as crisp as when images are designed for 64x32 from the beginning. So if you’re creating GIFs for the Tidbyt, make sure they’re 64x32.

The next limitation is slightly less obvious - we’re limited by the number of bytes we can send to the Tidbyt and the Tidbyt is constrained by how many bytes it can store locally. To get around this, we limit the size of the GIF to 128 Kilobytes and if it’s larger than this after downsizing to 64x32 pixels, we drop frames until it fits the size requirements. This means if you want your GIF to look great on the Tidbyt, make sure it’s 128KB or less before adding it through the mobile app.

Finally, the length of time the GIF loops should be around 15 seconds. The timings for applet cycles are 15 seconds, 10 seconds, 7.5 seconds, and 5 seconds depending on the setting in the mobile app. If your GIF is less then 15 seconds, ensure it loops cleanly to avoid an interrupt.

@Perfectionisht to answer your question more directly, I don’t think we’ve found good guidance on frame rate just yet, would love to hear what you discover! I suspect the bigger issue around too many frames is the size of the GIF becomes too large and we’ll end up dropping those frames on our end.


I think you are right and that file size was / is the limiting factor. I’ve recreated them at 5fps and it seems to be working well. Not the smoothest motion of course, but the 15 second run time is spot on. Thanks for delving into this.