Google’s Motion Stills comes to Android, and it’s fantastic.
Google is bringing one of its remaining iOS exclusives to Android. Motion Stills emerged in the wake of the iPhone 6s’ Live Photos feature as one of the easiest ways to capture short bits of stabilized video and turn it into shareable GIFs.
Now, a year and a bit later, Motion Stills is available on Android — for the 65% or so of devices running Android 5.1 or higher.
The app is set up quite differently on Android: instead of using existing video content and making it into a Motion Still, the Android version forces users to capture video inside the app, creating something like a Boomerang or Hyperlapse.
Like the iOS version, though, resulting video is stabilized — Google said it “redesigned [its] existing iOS video processing pipeline to use a streaming approach that processes each frame of a video as it is being recorded.”
By computing intermediate motion metadata, we are able to immediately stabilize the recording while still performing loop optimization over the full sequence. All this leads to instant results after recording — no waiting required to share your new GIF.
Another feature, Fast Forward, builds on that stabilization algorithm to capture a longer clip and create a time-lapse, or hyperlapse in the modern parlance. Playback can be adjusted from 1x to 8x depending on the desired effect, and then output as a GIF in one of three sizes.
Motion Stills is available for 65.6% of Android users, which leaves out a fair few million, but it’s an impressive technical achievement that needs modern GPUs and APIs. Such is life.