Many years ago, Sony released an application called Motion Shot that captured some video before and after a photo was taken. Apple then launched Live Photos with the iPhone 6S in 2015. It received so much positive feedback that Google decided to jump on board. Google launched the Motion Stills application for iOS to help stabilize those Live Photos. They then built their own Google Photos feature called Motion Photos for the Pixel 2 and brought the Motion Stills app to Android. The company has been evolving this feature ever since and we now finally have the ability to export Motion Photos as GIFs.
The idea of capturing some video before and after a photo is quite clever. It’s less useful if you have to find a dedicated application like Sony did, but it is very easy when the feature is just baked into the stock camera application. Granted, these Motion Photos do take up more space than a single still photo, so that’s something you should consider if you decide to keep the feature on all the time. Until now, we’ve only been able to export a Motion Photo as a still image or as a video. Now we can export it as a GIF.
This is a feature that many people have requested and it took a while for Google to implement. But, toward the end of last month, we did a teardown of version 3.15 of the Google Photos application and saw the first hint of this new feature. In that teardown, we noticed two new features that could be coming to the Google Photos application in the near future. One was the ability to like a photo or a video and the other was the ability to export a Motion Photo as a GIF.
As mentioned, before we could only export these as either a still image or a video. Now, when you tap “Export” you’ll see options for video, GIF, and still photo. There’s also a checkbox to keep stabilization, which will slightly trim the content.