Google releases three new photography apps

Google logo
A neon Google logo is seen at the new Google office in Toronto, Canada. (REUTERS/Mark Blinch)

Google has launched three new photography apps as part of its “appsperiments,” a revitalized drive to explore the potential of mobile photography.

The new apps, called Storyboard, Selfissimo! and Scrubbies, will allow Google roll out some of the new mobile camera technologies that it is working on. These technologies include object recognition, person segmentation, stylization algorithms as well as efficient image encoding and decoding. The release of the apps will also give Google some valuable feedback from its users.

Storyboard will turn videos into a photo with single-page comic book layouts. The images are also converted to depict the style of comic book artworks.

The resulting images from Storyboard are reminiscent of the popular artificial intelligence-powered app Prisma, which helped popularize the concept. However, Google’s new app takes it to another level by mixing it with technology that automatically selects interesting frames from the video in order to create a comic book layout.

The second app is called Selfissimo! and as its name suggests, it is designed for taking selfies. The app automatically takes black and white photos whenever the user pauses for a pose.

The app is able to do this by detecting the subject’s movements. It snaps a photograph whenever the subject stops moving. As a result, the app gives the user a contact sheet full of selfies, with the option to save individual photos or the entire photoshoot.

The last app, called Scrubbies, is designed for video editing. With this app, users will be able to change the speed and direction of the video playback to create looping videos.

Unlike other looping apps like Instagram’s Boomerang, Scrubbies allows users to create a more personalized loop. Users will be able to swipe on the video itself to edit it, a process that Google describes as scratching like a DJ.

Storyboard is only available for Android, Scrubbies for iOS devices, while Selfissimo! can be enjoyed by both Android and iOS users.