The Google Photos iOS app now allows users to convert Live Photos into GIFs and videos that can be shared across social media and the Internet
Google has just made it easier to share Live Photos in more relatively traditional photo formats. The updated Google Photos app allows users to transform Apple Live Photos into videos or GIFs, which are supported by most social media websites. The converted Live Photos can be shared on multiple social media platforms, regardless of whether they support Apple’s Live Photos format or not.
Google authored a post on Google+ explaining how it ported over the “advanced stabilization and rendering” technique from the Motion Stills app. The blog post elaborated on this point, saying, “Google Photos can freeze the background in your Live Photos or create sweeping cinematic pans, turning your Live Photos into beautiful, captivating moments.” The result is a looping “video” that can be played over and over.
The Google Photos app also added a new sorting feature, based on chronological events as well as the date a photo was added on. This feature is live on the iOS app and the web version of Google Photos, and will be brought over to the Android app soon. Users can also assign a new thumbnail for faces in the People section.
BGR posted an example of a Live Photo before and after Motion Stills Stabilization, and the difference is clear to see. The concept works well by freezing the part of the image that is not moving (such as mountains) while keeping the continuous motion in the moving part (the river). The result is much more aesthetically pleasing, and really adds to the quality of the image.i
Google announced that it will support Apple's Live Photos earlier this year, and the company is now moving to offer something that might be a bit better. Live Photos can be used by iPhone 6s, 6s Plus, and even iPhone 7 users. That somewhat limits the availability of these photos, and Live Photos also cannot be shared elsewhere.
That said, converting Live Photos into GIFs will not record the sound that accompanies Live Photos during the photo-capturing moment. The sound will still be there in videos, but videos might take slightly longer to load, which might take something away from the pull of Live Photos. It can hence be argued that Google Photos’ converted Live Photos would not exactly capture the essence of Live Photos.
That said, the feature is certainly convenient and adds to the pull of the Google Photos app. Users can not only store and sort their pictures and videos, but can also convert Live Photos into shareable content. This negates the need to download a separate app to convert Live Photos, and that all-in-one brand image portrayed by Google Photos might be the deciding factor in pulling iOS users towards the Alphabet Inc app.