There are other third-party apps available to convert Live Photos into GIFs, but Google's magic touch is the video stabilization it employs to separate the background and freeze it while allowing the foreground to stay in focus.
Google highlights that it's using a video stabilization algorithm that's been refined through processing hundreds of millions of videos on YouTube as well as photo bursts that it uses to create GIFs within the Animation feature on the Google Photos app.
"Our algorithm uses linear programming to compute a virtual camera path that is optimized to recast videos and bursts as if they were filmed using stabilization equipment, yielding a still background or creating cinematic pans to remove shakiness," Google explains.
Additionally, Google says its app won't require an internet connection to work and users don't need to sign in with a Google account to use the app.
Given Live Photos is unique to Apple's latest iPhones, Motion Stills only works on an iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus, or iPhone SE. Once the app is launched, users can browser their Live Photos and select which images they want Google to stabilize and convert into a GIF. Users can share images as a GIF or a MOV video clip.
Additionally, the app can be used to turn photo bursts into a short movie. Google has also added loop optimization to pick the best start and end points for a short movie and discard blurry frames.
Google says the app is a way for it to experiment with technology for short video creation and that it may, depending on feedback, integrate this feature into other products, such as Google Photos.