Originally Posted by adrianvintu
GIFs have a proprietary format. Google will not implement a GIF viewer because of the GIF licensing terms. You can implement it yourself though.
GIFs do have a proprietary format, but that has nothing to do with why we won't see them implemented. They have been around forever and the licensing fees for it are so cheap it's a joke. Here is why it isn't integrated...
A long time ago camera phones were cool, but expensive. Most people didn't have one and those who did either couldn't shoot video or other video was very short and or terrible quality. Once they shot it, data networks or the RAM on other phones would not allow them to be sent or received. Thinking of a way to compress videos, they couldn't come up with something reasonable so all carriers used animated GIFs as they were low in file size and took up like 1/80th of even the shortest video clip usually....plus, there was already a plethora of them available due to No flash technology available yet or the slow implementation of the aforementioned tech. So all the major carriers started selling GIFs with their polyphonic ringtones...
Then comes the smart phone. Not only do almost all have cameras, but data is becoming a big deal You started to see Blcakberries, Win Mo devices, and Treos that didn't play GIFs. Why? Because handset manufacturers and carriers figured if you are sending GIFs, you would be the type of person who wants to send audio and video as well. Carriers make a HUGE push on data, Smart phones catch fire, and they stop licensing GIFs so that they die away.
Problem is you uncle who sends you funny crap all the time "Just needs a flip phone" because he is still afraid of the smart phone tech and afraid he won't understand how to use it...
That being said, there are still GIFs made today and a lot of classic ones that are hilarious. It would be nice to view them and if someone made an app, the royalties or one time licensing fee they had to pay would be well worth their profit.
P.S. I was working in the wireless industry at the shift and constantly being informed of these types of initiatives. It pissed customers off, but it sold smart phones which forced customers to add on a data pack pushing the MDRE on each account. Verizon still forces all smart phone customers to carry a data pack for the length of their contract.