Magic comes to muggles everywhere in the form of a phone that takes photos that move and have sound. Apple’s new iPhone takes pictures and they magically transform into a picture that moves and even talks. In typical Apple fashion, they take what they have seen other companies do and do it better, or different at least.
Pictures that move are not a new concept. We have these things called movies that have been doing it for a while. The difference here is that you take a photo and not a video but on the camera roll you will have a small three-second video with sound even (it is not yet clear if you can turn the sound off). The phone records about a second and a half of what happened before you took the picture and takes a second and a half of what happens after. You are left with what Alex Lindsey from MacBreak Weekly calls, “miniVines”, three second video versus the seven second Vine length.
This magical-video-from-pictures is not a new idea. Google has had what they call Auto Awesome, now called Creations, for a while. Creations takes photos that look similar when you sent them up to the cloud and puts them together into an animated GIF like the one below. It saves it in the cloud for you and offers a page of other projects it put together for you from your pictures, an Ansel Adams style photo, or a collage of photos from vacation, for example. You then can tell Google if you liked it and it will keep it or dispose of it if you don’t like it. It keeps all the original photos as well.
Apple’s version is done on the phone and not sent to Google’s servers. Having it on the phone would suggest the pictures are more secure versus sending it to the Google overlords’ servers where they may data mine your pictures. Apple’s version seems to be set to one-ish picture where Google mashes multiple pictures together. Apple also adds sound to the picture which may be an interesting take. This reminds me of the Hallmark picture frames of old where you could record a greeting for grandma to included with your picture. Those having their pictures taken will now have to watch what they say. This is bound to result in plenty of funny material for Reddit in the future.
These magic photos are not even new for Apple as third-party apps have been doing this for a while now. Burstio, is an app that would take your burst photos, those photos you take in quick succession, from your camera roll and put them together into animate GIFs. This app was highlighted by Jason Cipirani in January on CNET in his article, “Turn your iOS burst photos into videos, animated GIFs“. The author seemed to have seen Apple’s playbook when he claimed:
For me, it only made sense for Apple to provide a quick mechanism to turn a series of burst photos into an animated GIF, or a silent video (audio isn’t captured when you’re taking photos, naturally).
The parenthetical last line, “audio isn’t captured when you’re taking photos, naturally” kind of captures what Apple is doing with adding audio to these animations. Something un-natural. Dare I say “magical”?