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Google brings its fancy Motion Stills GIF-making app to Android

It's been an iOS exclusive for the past year.
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Motion Stills has existed in a strange space for the past year. It's a Google-made app but it's been available only on iOS, piggybacking off Apple's Live Photos function to create dramatic, stabilized GIFs and short videos. Android owners, Google's main user base, were left out of the fun entirely -- until today.

Motion Stills is available on Android, complete with a handful of updates. A new recording interface allows users to capture a short video with a single tap, like snapping a photo, or condense a longer recording (up to one minute long) with the Fast Forward function. On Android, Motion Stills comes with a fresh trimming algorithm that's designed to protect against accidental camera shakes and pocket shots. Just like on iOS, users can capture their shots without an internet connection.

Google redesigned the Android app's video pipeline so that it processes each frame of a video as it's recorded. "By computing intermediate motion metadata, we are able to immediately stabilize the recording while still performing loop optimization over the full sequence," the Google Research blog says. "All this leads to instant results after recording -- no waiting required to share your new GIF."

Now that Motion Stills is on Android, Google says it's considering integrating the tech into its proprietary tools like Google Photos.

Apple users, don't fear: When iOS 11 launches later this year, it'll bring Motion Stills-esque updates to Live Photos. That might be one reason Google decided to (finally) move Motion Stills to Android.

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