Google Pixel 2

For those who don’t know, the Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL snaps several frames before and after the user takes a picture. Previously, this could only be saved either as a video or a still photo. Now, Google is allowing users to save Motion Photos as GIFs.

Turn Your Motion Photos Into GIFs

On Google Photos, there’s now a dedicated Export menu accessible from the overflow of a Motion Photo. Simply open the photo, click the three-dot menu at the top, and choose “Export.” A new panel will then open up with the new GIF option included, plus a tick box for “keep stabilization.”

Choosing to save them as GIFs might take a little while, though 9to5Google says it takes about a minute to process and they may come in pretty large file sizes, sometimes quadrupling the size of the Motion Photo itself. In the end users get a nice-looking GIF at a resolution of 1,024 x 768.

It’s not clear whether users can opt to lower the resolution as a way of reducing the file size, which they would probably want to do if they want to send these as MMS. If file reduction isn’t available, users can go online anyway and look for file trimmers. Those are a dime a dozen. They shouldn’t be too hard to locate.

This new export option is only available for Motion Photos and Google Pixel 2 devices with Google Photos 3.15 installed. Why this wasn’t a feature from the beginning demands explanation, but at least it’s here now. It should make sharing dynamic Motion Photos on social networks much easier because sending people GIFs via chat is much less cumbersome than sending a full video. Plus, GIFs have become insanely popular over the years, thanks in large part to widespread use of memes.

On a related note, Google Photos was updated earlier this February with a special filter for Motion Photos, which made it easier for users to search for them in their large libraries of photos and videos.

Motion Photos And Live Photos

If it’s not already obvious, Motion Photos is Google’s answer to Apple’s Live Photos, which works similarly. On iPhones that support it, Live Photos capture several frames before and after the user actually takes the shot, just in case they miss crucial hard-to-capture moments, such as a baby smiling or an unmoving animal.