Popular Microsoft photo app BLINK adds animation, sharing features

Back in February Microsoft Research released BLINK, a handy free photo app for Windows Phone 8 that captures a burst of images when you press the shutter button so you can pick the best shots. It was an instant hit, racking up more than 317,000 downloads and hundreds of 5-star reviews in the four months since.

Today Microsoft scientists released an update to BLINK, and version 2.0 adds some mighty cool stuff: the ability to create and share short video clips. Grab it here

BLINK, a Lens app that integrates right into your camera viewfinder, captures a total of 16 frames, beginning just before you press the camera button and ending about a second afterward. As a Microsoft Research news article explains today, the new animation and sharing features were inspired by a simple observation: People seemed to be having as much fun flipping through each series of photos as they were deciding which shots to keep.

So the updated app adds a new button to turn a group of shots into an animated flipbook called—you guessed it—a “BLINK.” Notes the article: “It’s the perfect time span for capturing just a bit of motion—your baby’s breaking smile, perhaps, or a back flip off a diving board.” The updated app also provides options for sharing BLINKs with friends and family on Facebook, Twitter, email, and Socl, Microsoft’s homegrown social network dedicated to collages and other artsy digital creations.

Check out the video Microsoft Research put together to see a little tutorial of how it all works. Windows 8 users should also check out the new BLINK Cliplets app released today in the Windows Store.