Google's New App Makes the iPhone's Live Photos Suck Less

Illustration for article titled Googles New App Makes the iPhones Live Photos Suck Less

The iPhone 6s came with some neat gimmicky, stuff. One of those new additions that walked that perilous line between utility and stupidity was Live Photos. Apple described it as “unlike any other way to interact with photos.” We thought they were basically GIFs but less useful. Google must agree with us because the Android-maker just released an iOS app to make Live Photos better called Motion Stills.


The app is incredibly simple but also super useful. This is how it works, according to Google:

Our algorithm uses linear programming to compute a virtual camera path that is optimized to recast videos and bursts as if they were filmed using stabilization equipment, yielding a still background or creating cinematic pans to remove shakiness.


That should sound familiar since it’s basically the same description of Microsoft and Instagram’s Hyperlapse applications. Google’s app does work slightly differently however, drawing specifically from Live Photos rather than video.

Comparison with and without stabilization. This feature is optional.

The app layout is also super simple. You don’t need to sign into anything—not even a Google account. All you’ve got to do is grant access to your camera roll. From there, the app gives you short previews of your GIF creations, and you can drop clips into a movie (basically just a super long GIF). You can also dig around in the settings for higher or lower resolution GIFs and to also turn off watermarking.

Here’s an example from my camera roll of a Live Photo I likely took by accident.

If you take a lot of Live Photos, actively or passively, this is probably an app worth having. It might even convince you to take a Live Photo or two.

[iOS - Free via Google]


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Apple described it as “unlike any other way to interact with photos.”

Except for, you know, Nokia Lumia Living Images, which had been around for quite some time, and nobody cared about it then either.