A small update to Gmail is currently rolling out to the Google Play Store that brings support for GIF keyboards from within the app. The update is build 18.104.22.168698241.release for those keeping score at home and who like to play Google version Bingo. When it is installed, you will be able to insert GIF animations directly from the keyboard instead of having to go to another app, then copy-and-paste it into your message. In order for it to work, you have to be using a GIF supporting keyboard like Google’s own Gboard.
Once you have the update, inserting GIFs is done like it is any other app when using a supporting keyboard. You can search for GIFs from the keyboard, tap them, and they are inserted into your messages.
Prior to this update, support for GIFs was in Gmail but it required that you leave the app to go find the one you wanted to insert. Now you
can stay within the client and, if you are using Gboard, you can search and insert the animations much easier and faster.
Beyond this new capability, you won’t find much new in this update. There are the normal bug fixes and performance improvements but nothing specific was called out by Google in the release notes for the update.
The OTA update for Gmail should be coming to everyone over the course of the next few days if you don’t have it already.