Google 'Motion Stills' Update Lets Users Customize Default Frame of Live Photos

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Last year Google launched an app called Motion Stills that fixed a lot of issues that users had -- and still have -- with Apple's new Live Photos feature introduced in the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. With the new update, Motion Stills now lets users customize the displayed frame that appears automatically in the camera roll of the iOS Photos app.


The intent is to display more clearly what the Live Photo image is composed of, particularly when the frame displaying the content is taken from a blurry or unclear segment of the Live Photo. Now, users can cycle through any frame from a Live Photo in Motion Stills, choose a new image, and export it back out to the iOS Photos app with the new frame. This exporting process keeps the Live Photo in Apple's custom 3D touch looping format and not the GIF format of Motion Stills.

As The Verge pointed out, there is a catch in the basic function of Live Photos that could result in a customized frame appearing lower-resolution in the Photos app.

There is a catch. For space reasons, Live Photos only save the primary frame in full 12-megapixel clarity, with the other frames handled as lower-resolution video; choosing one of these frames will therefore result in a photo with less detail than the original. But since the vast majority of Live Photo viewing probably happens on phones, this may not be a major issue for you.

Other than the new frame feature, Motion Stills as a whole lets users turn Live Photos into easily shareable GIFs. The app also uses Google's video stabilization technology to smooth out jittery images and freeze backgrounds, giving an overall improvement on Apple's basic Live Photos. Motion Stills can be downloaded for free from the iOS App Store. [Direct Link]

Top Rated Comments

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47 months ago

I don't see a situation when I'd want that. Whenever I'm taking the photo, I'm hitting the shutter for the moment I'm wanting to capture.

The reasoning is right in the article. It's to help alleviate mistakes.

The intent is to display more clearly what the Live Photo image is composed of, particularly when the frame displaying the content is taken from a blurry or unclear segment of the Live Photo.

At least someone is trying to do something with Live Photos. It seems Apple forgot it actually existed.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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47 months ago
This app is truly excellent
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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47 months ago

Live photos are extra stupid

They were until this app came about. I only used it on day one of owning my 6S until I got this app. Now I can easily share some cool and fun home made gifs on Telegram with it.

Exactly the sort of thing I would have expected Apple to have produced. Guess they don't have the resources...
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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47 months ago
It's embarrasing that such app is provided by Google not Apple itself.

That being said, I really love this feature. In the past year, Live Photo captured some best moments of my dog that just passed away last week.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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47 months ago
Of course there is a catch. A live photo consists of the actual 12 megapixel image plus a few seconds of video footage. Choosing a different frame is going to result in a lower quality image being shown as the photo.

I don't see a situation when I'd want that. Whenever I'm taking the photo, I'm hitting the shutter for the moment I'm wanting to capture.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
47 months ago
Motion Stills has a major flaw that NO one talks about.

If using a Wide Color-enabled Apple mobile device, both the photo portion & the video portion of Live Photos is in the Display P3 color space (i.e., Wide Color) ... GIFs are inherently LOW-color !
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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