Google’s new app will turn your iOS live photos into GIFs

For the second time in the last several weeks, Google has released a new app for iOS users, and this time it’s one that improves on Apple’s live photos feature.

Motion Stills turns Apple Live Photos in to GIFs as well as stitch multiple photos together into longer videos. Once created, the GIFs or videos can then be easily shared from the app to social media and messaging platforms like Instagram, Twitter and Slack, giving what was once a restrictive file type more purpose.


In addition to giving utility to live photos, Google is also applying its video stabilization technology to each live photo, making the images appear steady even if they were snapped with a shaky hand.

Google’s algorithm does this by utilizing linear programming to automatically determine the best camera path, then recasts the video to appear as if it were filmed under stable conditions. Google also notes that it keeps the app fast and conserves storage by using the video game tactic of computing low-resolution warp textures to perform real-time GPU rendering.

image stabilization

The app, which Google announced on its research blog as a pilot, is available immediately in both the U.S. and Canada, and is entirely on-device with no sign-in needed.

While Motion Stills has already been met with frustration by some Android users, the post assures that the app will only be the first application of this technology, stating, “Based on the feedback we receive, we hope to integrate this feature into existing products like Google Photos.”

Related reading: Google’s new iOS keyboard just launched in the U.S. and it’s revolutionizing mobile search