GIFwrapped has long been one of the best ways to store and access your GIF collection on iOS. Five years after our first review of the app, developer Daniel Farrelly's GIF tool has received a major update today: version 2.0. GIFwrapped 2 fully recognizes the app's user interface, streamlined it from tab-based to panel-based, while supporting two key new features: universal search and iCloud synchronization.
GIFwrapped's new design eliminates the tab and replaces it with a single resizable panel – effectively condensing four separate screens into one single. Over this panel is your library with saved GIFs, and inside the panel is a search box plus options for selecting GIFs from the Photos library or a specific category. The category list retains the same basic groupings that were previously found under the app's search tab, including the ability to add saved searches and view search history if you are a premium subscriber. All this fits in very well in the new panel and provides easy access to any controls you need with a simple swipe up or down.
Panel-based user interface has slowly grown in popularity since Apple first debuted its own take on design in iOS 1
A functional enhancement related to GIFwrapped combining multiple tabs into a single screen is that the search has also been streamlined. Previously, there was a search option specific to your GIF library and a separate option in the dedicated search tab that would find results from the app's data provider, GIPHY. Now, with universal search, there is a search box for everything.
If you enter a query in the main search box, the results from your library will be filtered to match your keywords. There is no delay, as each keystroke instantly matches your library to matching results. If a GIF in your library is all you need, you can stop there. If you still want to search the full GIFwrapped database, you can press the blue "Search" button on your keyboard to complete your query and see a much wider set of results, with your library games still available at the top of the page screen.
Along with the newly developed user interface and universal search, the latest main feature of GIFwrapped 2 is support for iCloud Drive synchronization. Historically, the only way to sync and back up your GIFwrapped collection was through Dropbox – an option that still exists in the updated app. While Dropbox synchronization was a perfect choice for when GIFwrapped first debuted, since iCloud was still in its infancy, iCloud is today the go-to option for most iOS users because it enters the system. There is no additional configuration required with iCloud, making it a natural standard for most apps to be offered. I am grateful that Dropbox synchronization is still available as an alternative, but GIFwrapped adopting iCloud synchronization was needed to bring it into modernity.
When enabled, GIFwrapped stores its iCloud synchronization library in a GIFwrapped folder on iCloud Drive. The nice thing about this approach, as opposed to the kind of invisible storage used by apps like Ulysses or Bear, is that you can access and manage your files outside of the GIFwrapped app. To open files on iPhone or iPad, or Finder on a Mac, accessing the ICloud Drive GIFwrapped folder to rename, delete or export your GIFs via the share sheet or drag and drop. To add new GIFs to the GIFwrapped library, you can easily save them from any source in the GIFwrapped folder on iCloud Drive, and they will be easily accessible the next time you open GIFwrapped.
GIFwrapped 2.0 is a great example of a big update done right. It leaves the core functionality of the app intact, so it can meet the same needs as before, but the way the core selection function can be accessed and used has been discussed and improved thoroughly. There is no extra mess here because of an overview of new features, but instead GIFwrapped streamlined what is already there in a simpler package. Add to that the addition of iCloud synchronization, a long-lasting enhancement, and you have a user-friendly edition and set the app for a strong future.
GIFwrapped is available as a free download on the App Store; An optional $ 3.49 / year subscription removes ads and unlocks search bookmarks, search logs, watermark removal, and more.