Mobile World Congress has been rolling throughout Barcelona this week, and it’s seen the arrival of new devices like the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge. The new devices are very similar to last year’s offerings, especially in terms of looks and overall feature sets, but Samsung has added a number of subtle improvements here and there. One of which is the return of the microSD card slot as well as the return of IP68 water-resistance, making the Galaxy S7 a more resilient smartphone overall. In the past, Samsung has been known for simply focusing on throwing in every single feature that they can, but that doesn’t seem to be the case any longer. One feature that did make the cut, albeit on the sly however, is a Live Photos type feature, dubbed Motion Photo.
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Back when Apple launched the iPhone 6S last year, the fact that the company had managed to launch a feature that “magically” bought still photos to life took the world by storm. Not because this was anything special, the animated GIF and short video clips have been around for decades, but because of how Apple marketed the feature. Superlatives are Apple’s forte, and when a company has people eating out of their hands for a simple animated photo feature, it’s no wonder other companies feel the pressure to play catch up. For Samsung, it appears this feature has made the cut in the form of “Motion Photo” itself a setting that appears to be nestled away in the settings of the camera app.
When turned on, there’s no visible evidence that anything different will be happening when you take a photo, but when reviewing them in the gallery users will notice that there’s some footage before the moment the photo was taken. This might not be the sort of feature that will please everyone, but it’s something a lot of people moving from the iPhone 6S will be looking for. Following Apple’s lead is not necessarily something that firms like Samsung intend, or even want to do, but when a feature like a simple animated photo is marketed as heavily as Apple markets something sometimes the pressure is just too much.