Motion Stills is getting a big update to v2.0 today, and with it come AR stickers. Now you'll be able to breathe new life into your already lively GIFs. This release isn't just about small animated characters, there are also some updates to make the UI a little prettier and more intuitive. As always, we've got a download link at the bottom if you want to get your hands on the update right away!

What's New

Unofficial Changelog: (the stuff we found)

  • New look
  • AR Stickers
  • Minor improvements to settings screen

Redesigned UI

Left: v1.1. Right: v2.0.

The first thing you'll notice after updating to v2 of Motion Stills is a new look to the main controls. The mode icons hovering in the viewport are gone, replaced with text labels in the lower bar. When you wanted to begin recording some activity in the old version, you'd simply tap on the active mode button to get started, but the new version provides a visually intuitive button in the center to play the same role. The camera switcher has also been moved to the bottom-right corner. If you're paying attention, you'll also see a new label, but we'll get to that in the next section.

In the old version, your photo gallery took the place of that big white bar below the mode selectors. You could tap on it or drag it up to begin browsing your work. Since the latest update has moved basically everything into that same location, there is now just a tiny thumbnail off to the left that shows what your last picture looked like. Naturally, tapping the thumbnail will open that gallery.

AR Stickers

AR stickers may not be all that useful, but they are pretty fun and great to show off to friends that aren't in the loop yet. Google has been slowly injecting them into a few of its camera-oriented apps ever since they were unveiled at last year's I/O. Motion Stills is the latest to get the special treatment.

After switching to AR Mode, a T-Rex is automatically selected and placed in view. You can slide the selector to change the sticker, and tap anywhere on the viewfinder to pick a location to place the object. Use two fingers to rotate the object and resize it.

There are currently just six AR stickers to choose from: Dinosaur, gingerbread man, alien, robot, chicken, and planet. However, there are icons for a few additional stickers, but they're not live yet. These will be: Basketball, bat, parrot, and UFO. Update: In a minor update, the additional icons were removed. Perhaps they won't be added to the app after all.

Above: Current AR models. Below: Not yet available models.

Strangely, you can only place a single AR sticker. Picking a different model will replace whichever one was already in the scene. There are no buttons to add additional models.

Oh, and just to be clear, the AR mode doesn't require the just-activated Pixel Visual Core. I've tried it on a Nexus 6P and it ran without a problem.

Google Research explains implementation of AR models

If you're interested in a few more details about how the AR models are positioned and tracked, check out this post on the Google Research Blog explaining some of the process.

Little things in Settings


Left: v1.1. Right: v2.0.

The Settings screen got a little attention, as well. Configurations that have multiple options – basically just GIF quality and repeat shared clips – will now show the current setting below the title so you don't have to tap on the line to see what is selected. Also, the Watermark option is technically disabled by default now, but if you already had Motion Still installed and left Watermark enabled, it will retain that setting after the update.


Disclaimer: Teardowns are based on evidence found inside of apks (Android's application package) and are necessarily speculative and usually based on incomplete information. It's possible that the guesses made here are totally and completely wrong. Even when predictions are correct, there is always a chance that plans could change or may be canceled entirely. Much like rumors, nothing is certain until it's officially announced and released.

The features discussed below are probably not live yet, or may only be live for a small percentage of users. Unless stated otherwise, don't expect to see these features if you install the apk.

Facebook integration

The final note for this update is that it includes an SDK from Facebook. Nothing in particular is spelled out, but it looks like this will enable Motion Stills to be used with the Facebook Messenger "Platform" – basically, it'll probably be a plugin that makes it slightly more convenient to launch and use Motion Stills from Facebook Messenger. I've already tried a few things in both apps, but it doesn't look like this is live yet.

There is text taken from the teardown, but it's all basically the generic stuff included with the SDK.

<string name="com_facebook_tooltip_default">New! You're in control - choose what info you want to share with apps.</string>
<string name="com_facebook_image_download_unknown_error">Unexpected error while downloading an image.</string>
<string name="com_facebook_internet_permission_error_message">WebView login requires INTERNET permission</string>
<string name="com_facebook_internet_permission_error_title">AndroidManifest Error</string>
<string name="com_facebook_like_button_liked">Liked</string>
<string name="com_facebook_like_button_not_liked">Like</string>
<string name="com_facebook_loading">Loading...</string>
<string name="com_facebook_loginview_cancel_action">Cancel</string>
<string name="com_facebook_loginview_log_in_button">Log in</string>
<string name="com_facebook_loginview_log_in_button_long">Log in with Facebook</string>
<string name="com_facebook_loginview_log_out_action">Log out</string>
<string name="com_facebook_loginview_log_out_button">Log out</string>
<string name="com_facebook_loginview_logged_in_as">Logged in as: %1$s</string>
<string name="com_facebook_loginview_logged_in_using_facebook">Logged in using Facebook</string>
<string name="com_facebook_send_button_text">Send</string>
<string name="com_facebook_share_button_text">Share</string>

<string name="messenger_send_button_text">Send</string>

<meta-data android:name="com.facebook.sdk.ApplicationId" android:value="@string/facebook_app_id" />
<string name="facebook_app_id">2194939140733440</string>


The APK is signed by Google and upgrades your existing app. The cryptographic signature guarantees that the file is safe to install and was not tampered with in any way. Rather than wait for Google to push this download to your devices, which can take days, download and install it just like any other APK.

Version: 2.0.184362283

Motion Stills
Motion Stills
Developer: Research at Google
Price: Free