Google Photos users are probably familiar with the app's many hidden gestures. You can pinch two fingers together in the main library to see smaller and more numerous thumbnails, or expand those fingers to enlarge the thumbnails. When viewing a photo, pinching or swiping down will minimize it and return you to the previous screen, while swiping up will reveal its info. Artem recently discovered a Motion Photo-related gesture, and despite it being quite old, we'd never seen it mentioned before and didn't know about it, so here it is.

When viewing images in Google Photos, you have the option to turn on Motion Photos from the encircled Play/Pause icon in the top bar. This toggle's state carries over from one pic to the other, so when you swipe to the next image, you'll see the still for a brief second then the short motion clip associated with it takes over and plays on loop. You have to toggle the setting again to view your regular image.

Turns out there's a simple middle-ground solution. If you keep Motion Photo toggled off, you can simply tap-and-hold on the photo to see the associated motion clip. Get your finger off the screen and you're back to the still capture. Swipe to the next pic and you'll just get the photo until you tap-and-hold again.

Toggling Motion Photo with the button and with the tap-and-hold. Look for the touch pointers.

The trick works the other way around too. If Motion Photo is enabled, tapping and holding will give you the still image, then it'll go back to the clip when you lift your finger from the screen.

I know I'll probably never toggle Motion Photo after discovering this. It's just easier to browse still images and play motion clips only when I want to see them.

Google Photos
Google Photos
Developer: Google LLC
Price: Free