Samsung Galaxy S9: How to Set Animated GIFs on the Always on Display Screen

Namrata Gogoi

To call Samsung's Always On Display as 'one of the most highlighted features' would be an understatement. This feature, seen only in the premium phones with AMOLED screens, lets you see notifications, battery percentage, and time, without even lifting your phone, let alone waking it up.

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What's best about the Always On Display (AOD) feature is that you can customize the face widgets to your hearts contents. With the new update, this cool feature on the Samsung Galaxy S9/S9+ is set to become more trendy, all thanks to the newly introduced GIF feature.

Yep, you read that right. You can now set cool new GIFs on the Always On Display screen. Though Samsung has a set of preloaded AMOLED-friendly GIFs, you can also add one from your own arsenal of GIFs. Isn't that super cool? 

So, without further ado, let's see how to add Animated GIFs on the Always On Display Screen of your Galaxy S9/S9+.

Note: This feature is available on the Always On Display version 3.2.26.4.

Step 1:  Choose the Clock Style

Head over to the Always On Display settings by navigating to Settings > Lock screen and security and tap on the option for Clock and FaceWidgets.

Alternately, you can go to the Always on Display page and then tap on the Settings option. 

Samsung Galaxy S9 Always On Display 4
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Once in, navigate to the option that lets you Add photos (fourth from the last). Select it and then tap on the tab that reads Add GIF at the bottom of the screen. 

Step 2:  Choose and Save GIFs

This will present you with the preloaded GIFs in a variety of shapes and patterns. Interestingly, there are a number of cute animals also to choose from. Choose one, and tap on Apply and that's it! Now, all you need to do is turn the display off and wait for the AOD screen to come to life.

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Though it's cool to have a GIF on the AOD screen, it won't go on an automatic loop. It'll only play once and unless you double tap on the GIF, it'll remain as a static image.

Alternate Step: Choose From Your Arsenal of GIFs

You can also choose from your own set of saved GIFs. Just make sure that the GIFs aren't too heavy or lengthy. Head over to Clock Widgets inside the AOD settings and select the Add photos option.

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Instead of tapping on the Add GIF button, tap on the Plus icon. Now all you have to do is select the saved GIF from the Gallery and Voila! A cute image will be ready to welcome you as soon as your screen turns off.

What makes this feature even great is that you can create a couple of GIFs through the AR Emoji feature and this way, you can have a customized GIF on your AOD screen. Sounds fun, right?

Battery-life Concerns

The Samsung Galaxy S9/S9+ doesn't score too well in the battery department and, like it or not, the AOD also plays a major role in that. 

Thankfully, this new GIF feature doesn't burden the battery life too much, all thanks to the limited-loop feature. During the time I used it on my Galaxy S9+, the battery consumption was normal.

Bonus: Customize the Galaxy S9's Always on Display

1. Change the Color of Time

The Always On Display on Your Samsung Galaxy S9 has a diverse range of clock faces (i.e. if you consider GIFs not that important). You can select from the conventional digital wall or, go a notch above the style bar with the analog watch faces.

Samsung Galaxy S9 Always On Display 2
Samsung Galaxy S9 Always On Display 1

What makes them even better is that you can choose your own color. If you ask me, I found the white too boring. My Galaxy S9+ shows the clock face in stunning red.

2. Choose the Home Button Action

You can also select the action of the home button when the AOD is enabled. For instance, if you're a camera buff you can have the camera app launched right away. 

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Just change the option for Double tap Home button in the AOD settings.

Speaking of buttons, here's how to remap Android hardware buttons without root.

3. Get More AOD Layouts

Don't be limited by the standard AOD layouts on your phone, howsoever trendy they might seem. The Samsung Themes store has quite a number of AOD Layouts in store. While some are paid, you can get the others free of cost.

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If you're big on cute characters, the Adorable Characters section is a must visit. However, the Popular free AOD section ain't bad either.

Get the Most out of Your Samsung Galaxy S9/S9+

So, this was how you can set or add an animated GIF to the Always on Display screen of your Samsung Galaxy S9/S9+. Unlike the standard layouts, these GIFs also makes your phone stand out while adding a touch of fun to it. 

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Namrata Gogoi

Written By

Namrata Gogoi

An engineer turned tech writer, Namrata used to write software codes before turning to a career in tech- writing. She is passionate about travelling, food and reading about cool new stuff. Apart from that, she holds a bachelors degree in I.T and hails from Guwahati.