Last year Google released an app for iOS to capture and smooth Apple’s ‘Live Photos’, called Motion Stills. At the time and apparently ever since, many Android fans have been asking when it would be coming to Android. The answer to that is now. The new app is available on the Play Store to most Android 5.1 and above devices starting today.
What are motion stills? For those of you familiar with the Pixel camera’s ability to smooth out motion in video it’s the same thing but for animated gifs/ video. Google Research has built the app as a standalone experience external to the Google Camera or Google Photos apps and instead provides an additional app with the sole purpose of creating and sharing the gifs/ videos. As this is an experiment from Google Research they do say that these features may one day find themselves in one of Google’s other image focused offerings.
Motion Stills lets you do two things, create animated gif/ video of a fixed length, or create a “fast forward” clip. What’s fast forward? A time shift loop of a longer video sequence. With time shift you can record a video and then choose to speed it up 2x, 4x or 8x and then convert that and share it. Check out a 8x time shift clip below.
The app itself lets you you do two things, create a Motion Still or create a Fast forward using either the rear or front facing cameras, that’s it. Creating either results in the sequence loading below the “view finder” where your only option is to share it and only way to save them seems to be to share them with something like Google Photos or Google Drive.
Previous loops do stay in the apps “feed” however I’m not sure how long they will persist. The Google Photos app doesn’t seem to find them stored anywhere so I’m guessing Google hasn’t exposed them to their system.
Motion Stills certainly makes making animated content simple and easy, and Google Research are clearly proud of their production “pipeline” as it features heavily in their announcement post. If you’re the type who wants to make animated gifs or videos then perhaps your should check out Motion Stills, it’s available in the Play Store right now.