Motion Stills: Google’s new iOS app for GIFs

motion stills google

Motion Stills: Google’s new iOS app for GIFs

If you are one of those who love and use GIFs then you will probably like Google’s iOS app, Motion Stills!

Google is releasing Motion Stills, which is an iOS app, and is acting as a virtual operator for Apple’s Live Photos. So, what this app does, is that you capture a short video and then a video stabilization technology is used in order to freeze the background into a still photo or create sweeping cinematic pans.

How does Google manipulate your original Live Photo? Their blog post explains it as follows: 

We pioneered this technology by stabilizing hundreds of millions of videos and creating GIF animations from photo bursts. Our algorithm uses linear programming 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.

Our challenge was to take technology designed to run distributed in a data center and shrink it down to run even faster on your mobile phone. We achieved a 40x speedup by using techniques such as temporal subsampling, decoupling of motion parameters, and using Google Research’s custom linear solver, GLOP. We obtain further speedup and conserve storage by computing low-resolution warp textures to perform real-time GPU rendering, just like in a videogame.

The app can generate GIFs or even movie montages from your shots. You are then ready to share your creations on your social networks and browse other user’s GIFs as well! This app is an experiment for Google, at the moment, and they hope to integrate this feature into their existing products like Google Photos. Google also, prompts people to show their favorite clips by using #motionstills on social media. So, what are you waiting for?! Go ahead and grab the app! 🙂


Motion Stills is available on the App Store.