Google Photos on iOS brings Motion Stills magic to Live Photos

Last June, Google introduced the (strangely) iOS-only Motion Stills app that brought some stability to the otherwise mostly shaky Live Photos feature on Apple's platform. While it did create some fascinating GIFs, it had one major flaw. It was a different, somewhat obscure app that users had to first know about before they could install. Google has now addressed that issue, ironically killing Motion Stills in the process. Yes, Google Photos has been updated to bake that feature into the app itself. Presuming, of course, you also have it installed in the first place.

Like many of Google's more recent apps, Motion Stills started out more as a proof of concept. Or rather, boast of concept. It demonstrated Google's computer imaging prowess in how it is able to analyze a Live Photo, determine which is the background, and then freeze that background while the foreground, usually people or moving objects, move as normal. The effect is almost like a timelapse near impossible to do normally with Live Photos.

Google is now putting that technology right into its Google Photos app. Why bother when there's already an app for that, you might ask. For one, "Google Photos" has a better chance of being discovered and installed compared to a very generic one like "Motion Stills". For another, if users already have Google Photos installed, they won't have to install yet another app just to get this feature.

It would, of course, be even better if it integrated with the iOS Photos app itself, but that's never going to happen. At least until Apple decides to implement a similar feature. Besides, it neatly ties into Google's mission to have users store their photos on Google's cloud instead.

And for those a bit peeved that Google has once again prioritized a rival's platform, worry not. Google promises that the feature will soon land on Google Photos everywhere, both on the web and on Android.

SOURCE: +Google Photos