Image: pete pachal/mashable
Google Photos continues to blow away the competition.
The two-year-old service is easily the best free way to back up and store all of your photos and videos. But what’s better than all the storage you want (limited to 16 megapixels for photos and 1080p resolution for videos, of course) are Google’s impressive software enhancements.
Over the years, Google’s added many advanced features to improve your photos using its magical algorithms. And now, the app can fix shaky videos.
As discovered by Android Police, the latest version of Google Photos (2.13) for Android has a new video stabilization feature that’ll help correct wobbly footage and hopefully make it more watchable.
It’s not going to perform miracles on all your videos, but it does look mighty impressive when it works:
Image: daniel stone
Video with Google Photos video stabilization (left) vs. original video without video stabilization.
Nothing’s going to beat a steady stance and hardware optical image stabilization (either built into your phone or camera, or enhanced with a gimbal), but it’s hard to deny that Google’s doing some insane stuff with software.
What’s unclear is if the software video stabilization is similar to the electronic video stabilization Google uses to fix shaky videos on the Pixel and Pixel XL.
If you’ve got videos that need some fixing, update your Google Photos app to the latest version, and then select a video. Tap on the pencil "edit" icon and then tap "stabilize." Stabilization processing time will vary depending on the length of your video. Sadly, there’s no way to select a specific section of your video to stabilize. It’s all or nothing.
Image: screenshot: raymond wong/mashable
Video stabilization in Google Photos is Android-only for now, so if you’re looking to stabilize some videos on iOS, you’re out of luck. You can, however, upload your videos to Google Photos from your iOS device, and then use an Android device with the updated Google Photos app to access and stabilize uploaded videos.
This feature does make me wonder if Apple’s working on anything similar. Apple’s own Photos app for iOS, Mac, and iCloud pales in comparison when it comes to ways to easily fix photos and videos without too much effort. Hot hardware will always be Apple’s forte, but smarter software is where it needs to put more effort into.
WWDC is in a few months, so we may get a glimpse of some new Photos features then. But for now, Google Photos remains superior to Apple Photos in every way. If you’re not using it, you really should.