Since Live Photos launched with the iPhone 6S last fall, they have been one of my favorite features that has yet to make a splash. Most of my friends and family are still unaware of how to take them or view them. Personally, I'm a big fan. They're not nearly as revolutionary as Apple made them out to be during the announcement keynote, but they do have a certain magic about them. My very first Live Photo was a selfie taken in Times Square. Playing it back you can see the life and motion of New York City happening behind me, and it places me right back in that moment. For every perfect selfie in Times Square, though, there are two of you making a stupid face or pointing at the ground. Live Photos are still very young, and have plenty of untapped potential.
Earlier today Google released Motion Stills for both iOS and Android in an effort to improve the sometimes robotic, shaky playback of Live Photos. Motion Stills will automatically smooth the playback of the Live Photos in your library. You can then take your newly created Motion Stills and export them as GIFs or chain them together to create short videos. The app interface is great, as is to be expected from Google. Upon opening the app and viewing the short tutorial, it feels very familiar, decorated with material design and a very intuitive interface. The Share button is always within a thumbs reach (at least for those that are right handed), and creating videos is as simple as swiping right.
Motion Stills is a product of Google's Innovation team, and they've stressed that it is still a pilot. In the time I have spent with the app today, I am very pleased with the results. Live Photos of concerts or flights are now perfectly smooth, and I can create quick movies of recent trips to send to friends as a memory. With WWDC next week, and strong rumors of iOS10 details, maybe we'll see Live Photos 2.0? I'm looking forward to seeing where Live Photos go, and I'm stoked that Google is providing creation tools for them. Until then, let's take a quick tour of Google's Motion Stills: