Live photos in iOS was an instant hit since it was for the first time that people could extrapolate the photo time frame on either sides and capture the moments. Google has now released an iOS app called Motion Stills that works in tandem with the Apple Live Photos and leverages Google’s video stabilisation in order to lock the background.


The best part of Motion Stills is that the entire process is offline and would not require connectivity until and unless you want to share the resulting GIF’s. Google achieved this by creating GIF animations from photo bursts along with an Algorithm that made it look as though one has shot the video using video stabilisation gear. The low size of the files seems to be a direct consequence of real time GPU rendering, which means that some of the textures would be run by the GPU every time the file is played.

Motion Stills also seems to have addressed the looping problem and it also earmarks the best starting point and ending point once you click a live photo. Thus the app creates a train of live photos which seem to be blended together without the shaky frames. Google says that it has separated the background from the foreground and as a result has managed to achieve better quality GIF’s. In some sense the app is similar to the Instagram’s Boomerang. Google is trying to solve two problems with the Motion Stills, one that the Live Photos are not compatible with other platforms and another that the Live Photos cannot be stitched together. In fact we had earlier also featured another iOS app that promised to instantly convert the Live Photos into GIF’s.

On the contrary it is apps like this that will draw the furore of Android users since the Motion Stills is exclusive for iOS. One needs to understand that Apple has already baked in the algorithm for the live photos and as a result Motion Stills can pick up from where it left. It is quite probable that the feature might figure out in the final Android N but again it’s a mere speculation. In the meanwhile Motion Stills is already on the App Store and you can give it a try.

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Senior Author

Mahit Huilgol is a Mechanical Engineering graduate and is a Technology and Automobile aficionado. He ditched the Corporate boardroom wars in the favor for technology battle ground. Also a foodie by heart and loves both the edible chips and the non-edible silicon chips.