Apple may have created Live Photos, but Google just made them way better


Google yesterday released a new iOS app called Motion Stills, in hope of making live photos on the iPhone even better than Apple did. This new app takes your existing live photos, made with an iOS device, and stabilizes them so that your live photos look like they’ve been created using high-end stabilization equipment. The end result is an extremely fluid, and easily sharable, GIF or short video.

Google was hoping to take technology designed to run in massive data centers and make it usable in the palm of your hands, and I would have to say they were extremely effective. The effect this app has on your existing live photos is pretty magical. Google utilizes complex algorithms “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.” If you have shaky hand syndrome, then this is really going to help you create some fantastic content.


One of the best parts of this app is the fact that you don’t need an internet connection in order to use it. Not only was Google able to bring massively complex, automatic video editing processes to the palm of your hand, but they were able to do it without the need to use any data at all. All processing is done on the phone itself. If you do have an internet connection, however, Google has also made it extremely easy to share your newly created content across basically any app. Just a few presses of a button and all the world can take a look at your artistic achievements via GIF or video form.

Seeing as live photos are exclusively an iOS feature, this app, which launched yesterday, is exclusively for iOS. For those of us with Android devices, however, we may be seeing the awesome functionality of this app make its way to some existing Google apps in the coming months. According to Google, based on feedback that they receive, they “hope to integrate this feature into existing products like Google Photos.”

Source: Google Research Blog

About the Author: Ryan Rabea

Born and raised right outside of Philadelphia, Ryan recently defected to the west, now residing in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where he is a senior at the University of Pittsburgh studying political science. Ryan loves all things political, with aspirations to attend law school in the Fall, followed by a career in the world of politics. When not debating politics or hunkered down studying in the Cathedral of Learning, you can find Ryan having an epic catch or wandering God’s country, Pittsburgh’s South Side. In addition to politics, Ryan has loved Android ever since getting his first Android phone, the HTC EVO 4G, almost 6 years ago. Currently though, Ryan sports a Samsung Galaxy Note 4, but he can hear that Nexus 6P calling his name.