Google’s GIF-making, image-stabilizing editing app finally comes to Android

You'll be able to capture GIFs like a pro on Android with Google's Motion Stills app.
Image: brittany herbert/mashable

Google’s Motion Stills app brought some much-needed focus and balance to the iPhone’s Live Photos when it launched last year. Thus far, however, it has only brought its steady video stabilizing goodness to iOS users.

That’s no longer the case. Google Research is finally rolling out Motion Stills for Android, giving everyone outside of Apple’s ecosystem a shot at tuning up their video content.

The new app is an odd fit for Android, which doesn’t have the same Live Photo functionality as iOS phones, but that doesn’t mean intrepid phone photographers won’t take advantage of the editing package to GIF the hell out of anything and everything around them for maximum shareable potential.

The app will allow users to record quick Motion Stills, which are similar to the short video clips iOS devices capture as Live Photos. They’ll be able automatically edit the media with the motion stabilizing feature, taking shaky footage and morphing it into smooth, streamlined shots.

Image: google

The new Android version of Motion Stills also includes Fast Forward, a feature that shrinks down and edits longer videos by pushing the speed. Lengthier clips (up to a minute long) can be ramped up to eight times the pace of real life and doctored with the stabilization tool.

Image: google

Google Research’s team says the Android release is a retooling of the iOS version, with a brand new streaming approach that processes each frame of a video even as it’s being recorded. That leads to near immediate frame stabilization, in theory, which means you’ll be able to share your GIF much more quickly than if you used another conversion tool. Rather than writing a whole new file, the original recording is altered, too, which could mean your memory and battery don’t take as big of a hit.

The app looks cool, but it’s still a watered-down version of the features available to iOS users. None of Motion Stills’ expanded editing options that really make it fun (like active text for GIFs and pinpoint image exporting) are included with the Android launch.

Google says Motion Stills doubles as an opportunity for the team to experiment and develop its tools and strategies for short-form video, so more of those features could be on the way. The app is available now for phones running Android 5.1 and later, so get GIFing.

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