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Google Photos can now export motion photos as GIFs. The app previously allowed users to save motion photos—made with the Pixel/Pixel 2’s Google Camera app—but they were previously only exportable as still images or videos (or you had to export them as a GIF via another app).

The new option was spotted by some folks on Reddit, after having previously been spotted in an app teardown, and appears to be rolling out now. It should pop up in your Photos app sooner or later, and you’ll see it in the hamburger (three dots) menu when viewing one of your motion snaps—just hit export > GIF.

While motion photos can be GIF-ified, you can’t extract parts of uploaded videos as GIFs, or turn your Animations into them—something which might disappoint non-Pixel users. Further, the current GIFs are coming in at significantly large file sizes, which isn’t ideal given that their typically lightweight format is a core part of their appeal. This may simply be an early bug that will be quashed in the coming days. 

Head to the Play Store link below to download the latest Google Photos update, and let us know what you think of its most recent additions in the comments


Recent updates

Google Photos can now automatically make themed videos on demand

February 7: Google Photos has added a function that automatically takes your photos and groups them together into themed movies. This can be done on the mobile app and the web. Do not expect much in the way of machine learning, however. You pick the people or animals who should star in the movies and Google Photos picks out the best images and videos. The content is then put together with appropriate music in the background. The result is a one- to two-minute movie that can be shared with friends and family.

Google Photos adds “Then and Now” card to automatically merge past and present snaps

October 24: “Then and Now” is a recent aspect of Google Photos that appears from time to time in its Assistant tab. Like the animations, collages, and stylised photos you might have seen appear there previously, this is an automatic feature, and it works a little like the previous collage function. Rather than splicing a number of recent pictures from the same scene together, however, the Then and Now card takes an old photo and places it alongside a recent one with a similar setting. 

Suggested Sharing and Shared Libraries

June 28: Suggested Sharing and Shared Libraries will begin rolling out to Google Photos on Android, iOS, and the web starting today. Suggested Sharing uses machine learning to automatically identify photos and suggest people in your contacts who you might want to share with. In the Sharing tab of the Photos app, you’ll be able to see all your sharing activity, including photos sent to you and ones you’ve sent to others. This new menu will show your personal suggestions at the top based on your sharing habits and the people in the photos.

Plus, if your friends or family were with you at a particular event and happen to use Google Photos, the app will send them reminders to upload their photos to the album. You’ll then receive a notification when new photos are added. Shared Libraries, meanwhile, will allow you to share full photo libraries with another user.

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