​Google snaps up Fly Labs iOS video apps, puts them to work on Photos

Google is giving you one more reason to use Google Photos, acquiring a popular iOS developer to bring video-editing features to its gateway to the cloud.

The Google Photos homepage. Image: ZDNet
Fly Labs' popular video-editing apps for iPhones will soon vanish from the App Store and become part of Google Photos.

Fly Labs announced the changes on its website, confirming its acquisition by Google and its merger with the Google Photos team at the search company's Mountain View headquarters.

Fly Labs launched its Fly Video Editor for iOS in 2014 and has also released Tempo, Crop on the Fly, and the Clips Video Editor. Collectively, Fly Labs said the apps have been downloaded more than three million times and have helped generate 20 million videos.

The apps will gradually be phased out from iOS, though for now they'll be "completely free", according to Fly Labs. Previously, users could acquire premium editing features through in-app purchases.

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They will still be available for the next three months but without any further feature updates. After that period is up, the apps will continue to function on iOS devices but will no longer be available to download from the App Store.

If fans of the iOS apps still want the features, they'll have to install Google Photos at some point, if they haven't already.

"Google Photos is a home for your life's memories, powered by Google's machine-learning and computer-vision technology. It's a perfect match for what we built at Fly Labs, and we're looking forward to folding our technology into Google Photos," the developer said.

Google Photos was spun off from Google+ in May and within five months it had gained more than 100 million users who have backed up 3,720 terabytes of photos and video to Google's cloud.

The new video-editing features coming to Photos should no doubt encourage its 100 million-plus iPhone and Android users to generate yet more video and GIFs, which look likely to end up being stored and processed in Google's cloud.

Google has fleshed out Photos with a host of new features in recent months, including Chromecast support and clever ways of organising photos and labelling people.

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