Google Motion Stills App Turns Apple Live Photos Into GIFs

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Apple's Live Photos, introduced last fall with the latest iPhones, captures a three-second video before and after a picture is taken. But what if you want to watch that video over and over? Google (yes, Google) has a solution with its Motion Stills iOS app.

Google Motion Stills appMotion Stills turns Live Photos, available on iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, into looping GIFs that are shareable via SMS and social media.

"We provide an immersive stream experience that makes your clips fun to watch and share," Google researchers Ken Conley and Matthias Grundmann wrote in a blog post. "You can also tell stories of your adventures by combining multiple clips into a movie montage."

Under the hood, Motion Stills involves linear programming, real-time GPU rendering, loop optimization, and classifying "motion vectors into foreground and background in a temporally consistent manner," they wrote.

The result, however, is much easier to comprehend: "From fun family moments to exciting adventures with friends, try it out and let us know what you think," the Google blog said.

The app does not require an Internet connection, so folks can turn Live Photos into GIFs "even if you're on top of a glacier without signal," Conley and Grundmann said.

The Motion Stills app is available to download from the App Store. Users are encouraged to highlight their favorite clips using the hashtag #motionstills on social media.

In March, a Google Photos for iOS update added support for Live Photos, allowing users to back up and view them on Google's photo app.

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