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How Google’s Motion Stills App Will Make Your Live Photos Stand Out!


Google recently introduced a New App that will enable you to fix your Live Photos and turn them into Video clips or even GIF making them easier for you to share! The new app is called Motion Stills, and it is an iPhone app or iOS app.

This innovation is by the engineering team from Google’s research team, and it will be used in iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, and iPhone SE and also the small 9.7- inch iPad Pro because they are the only one that can capture Live Photos. A Live Photo is a 12-megapixel photo, and it captures motion 1.5 seconds before and after being still hence given a brief animation which can only be viewed on Apple devices.

How does it work?

Apple in 2015 introduced Live Photos on iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus which captured GIF animated still images, but the shaky images were unstable hence not fascinating. The introduction of Motion Stills will make live photos stabilize by freezing the background so that the only thing that is captured is the motion at the center of the frame. To make blurry or choppy photos become clear clips, the app will use Google’s stabilization technology for amazing results. Google said they had to first stylize hundreds of millions of Youtube videos, create GIF animations from photos bursts before pioneering this technology.

Advantages of Motion Stills

  • With Motion Stills, you can combine many Live photos into one image, then save it as a video clip or GIF which makes it easier to send to your friends or post to social media.
  • You will be able to create short films or movies accompanied by sound and be able to post.
  • The app can also be used as a tool to view Live photos, unlike when you use Apple’s’ Photos app which combines all photos taken, and you can’t edit or convert them to other formats.
  • The converted photos are stored as w files while your old photos remain unchanged in your camera.

However, the Motion Still images don’t look like the Live Photo captured because it will add some stabilization which improves the image.

How to operate the App?

The good thing is that you will not need any internet connection to operate it, and you will not need to Sign-in to use the app. You only need to permit it to access your photos, and it works on them. Motion Stills has a button that uploads directly to Youtube and on it will be available to WhatsApp messaging so that you can share using them. WhatsApp’s next update will support GIF’s autoplay, direct replies and embedding of the animated image to individuals or even groups. This is according to @WABentaInfo which is a Twitter account that tracks WhatsApp updates. Facebook Messenger App supported GIF’s over a year ago while Twitter followed this February.

Technologies Incorporated In the App

  • Google’s Image Stabilization Technology :

This technology is used to stabilize many videos and create GIF animations from photo bursts. The systems use linear programming to work out a virtual camera path so that it can recast bursts and videos as if they were taken using a stabilizing tool, hence giving a still background or even remove the shakiness by creating pans. “Google while releasing the new app said that their primary challenge was taking technology that is designed for a data center and shrink it down to run faster in a mobile phone. However, they achieved a 40x speed by use of decoupling motion parameters, temporal sub-sampling and custom linear solve from Google Research”. They also computed low-resolution warp textures so that they can perform real-time GPU rendering like in a video game once be able to obtain more speedup and conserve storage.

  • Loop Optimization :

The app has Loop Optimization so that you can create loops using videos hence give the best in your captures. Motion Stills will separate the background from the rest of the scene as to keep the background steady while looping. It fixes “pocket shots” (photo was taken when you are putting your phone back in your pocket), as an added benefit. It uses a flow of motion models that moves the motion estimates from simple to complex models hence biased results along the way. These results, however, are more surprising than what you will get when using Instagram’s Boomerang looping image tool.

Live Photos

When you activate Live Photos in the iOS camera app, you will get to capture three seconds of audio and motion together with the picture. You can also trigger the effect by just pressing on the touch screen of an iOS device while looking at a Live Photo. However, if the photos are stored in the iCloud, it won’t work well because of some technicalities, but you can open them in the Photos App, download them and then open them in the Motion Stills app. Google is working on a way out to make it simpler. Your edited images or video clips can be backed up easily and be able to view them on other synchronized devices through the Live Photos supported iOS App.

The Motion Stills!


Google said that the Motion Stills App was an experimental technology for short video creation, and it may integrate it into other products such as Google Photos depending on the feedback they receive. However, Android doesn’t have the Live Photos feature, but it has third party apps such Phogy, GIF Camera and Fyuse. Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge have a Motion Photos feature that can be used to record short videos before tapping on the shutter button.

Motion Stills is found on the App Store and can be downloaded for free. Once you have it, you will use the options that will enable you to convert Live Photos into a video clip or GIF. When you take a photo, Motion Still will edit it, then it is ready for posting or sending. This app has been released after Microsoft’s Hyperlapse time-lapse video apps, which is made for Mac so as to stabilize first-person videos. Motion Stills has taken up the challenge to make photos more interesting to share!


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