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Live Photos Shown Off In New Hands-On Video

One of the brand new features for the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus is Live Photos, which captures an additional 3 seconds of video around a still image and plays it through when a user 3D Touches the photo. We went hands on with the new feature and experimented with it.

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To use Live Photos, a user just has to take a normal photo when the "live" icon in the upper center of the screen is lit up. The iPhone automatically captures 1.5 seconds of video before and after the photo and stitches it all together. Because Live Photos combines video and still images, the new format takes up double the space a regular photo would.

While reviewers were largely positive on Live Photos, first impressions from users haven't been as kind. MacRumors forum member kungxpao said that he turned the feature off after a few test shots. However, some users see potential in the feature, like fellow forum member Conan86.
Live Photo is a great feature when you create them intentionally. I hope Apple would allow us to remove accidental "live" portions of a photo as I probably wouldn't hold 3 seconds to take a photo every single time.
Only the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus can create Live Photos, but they are viewable on all iOS 9 devices and Macs running OS X El Capitan. Eventually, Live Photos will also be shareable on social media services like Facebook and Instagram.

Related Roundup: iPhone 6s
Buyer's Guide: iPhone (Caution)


Top Rated Comments

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9 months ago
Live Photos are cool, but 3D Touch will change the whole game from here on out.
Rating: 11 Votes
9 months ago
My dogs are going to be so sick of me taking photos of them.
Rating: 7 Votes
9 months ago


Live Photo is a great feature when you create them intentionally. I hope Apple would allow us to remove accidental "live" portions of a photo as I probably wouldn't hold 3 seconds to take a photo every single time.


If you did it by mistake you can just go to edit and turn the Live Photo off by pressing the icon. Also, if you try to crop the photo it removes the live element permanently.

I think it's a great feature. I got a photo of a pint of Guinness settling for my lock screen. It's pretty cool - the bubbles go both up & down.
Rating: 6 Votes
9 months ago
Only Apple could get away with moving pictures as a tentpole feature.

Moving pictures=motion pictures=movies.

I've never used Vine, but I'm guessing that's what inspired this. I think if it were any other company, the press would be calling it a Vine-like feature, and there would be headlines like, "Do 6-second Vines need to be even shorter? Samsung says so!" And John Gruber would be writing some tripe about Samsung being out of ideas and copying everyone.
Rating: 4 Votes
9 months ago
Seems like one of those features I'd turn off as soon as I got the phone.
Rating: 4 Votes
9 months ago
I wish Apple never invented a special name for this feature, and it Photos like always so that people would never think of comparing it to videos, Vine, do special posing for it or any other absurdity.

It's just a way to better remember the moment when you're watching through your past photos, there shouldn't be any special treatment to Live Photos compared to normal Photos. It's like automatically adding a short remark to your photos, but in this case the remark is in form of video.
Rating: 3 Votes
9 months ago

No not at this time. It will revert to just the photo in anything that can't read the live photo.


My husband who has a 6s+ went hiking yesterday with his phone and grabbed some Live photos that he just showed me this morning. Amazing detail first off. I could see all the rocky detail on the opposite side of the dried riverbed area (Calif drought). There was a small pond left on the riverbed floor with some fish and frogs still surviving. You could see the green algae in stagnant spots. It really had a "mossy" feel to it. The clarity of the photo looking into the water of the pond was stunning. The photos he took really blew me away. I have a 6+ and didn't think I would feel the need to upgrade....then he touched the Live photos and I could see why this will be a hot feature that people will want to upgrade to. The fish in the pond were moving and the water rippling. The photo he took of some deer in a grassy field suddenly started frolicking in a circle with each other. That was such a special moment of his hike to share later with me was all I thought. I haven't spent any time looking at anything else the phone does over my 6+ but I'm already wanting to upgrade.

Oh and he air dropped the photo of the deer to my 6+ and I could view it on there as a Live Photo. So cool. You need to hold your finger on the photo the whole time while viewing to see the entire action. I tried downloading it to my older MBP and it wouldn't transfer. Hubby thinks it's because that machine is still on older software so I'll upgrade soon and retry the download. The photo appears in my Photos album on my 6+ as two images. One with a .jpg extension and the other with the same name but a .mov extension.

This is super cool and if you have an Apple Store in your area, you should stop in at some point and check it out. I think this is a mover especially for people on older phones...and likely for some of us still on a 6 or 6+.
Rating: 3 Votes
9 months ago

Only Apple could get away with moving pictures as a tentpole feature.

Moving pictures=motion pictures=movies.

I've never used Vine, but I'm guessing that's what inspired this. I think if it were any other company, the press would be calling it a Vine-like feature, and there would be headlines like, "Do 6-second Vines need to be even shorter? Samsung says so!" And John Gruber would be writing some tripe about Samsung being out of ideas and copying everyone.


I think you are missing the point. They're photos but with added depth. You don't shoot like you're shooting video (like you would with Vine), you take a picture like normal and the "live" bit just adds a little extra content to your photo.
Rating: 3 Votes
9 months ago

there are a few things I don't like about the implementation. For one the pic is taken with 1.5 sec delay. So you might miss the right time point for the pic although the movie captures that.

Also I don't get the blurry first half second on replay. Why is it blurry? It looks like the movie captures the focussing of the camera.

And the click and hold to make them play in the photo app is also not very intuitive.

The idea itself is good and fun however.


I think you're mistaken on how it actually works. When the camera app is open it is continuously recording whatever you're pointing the camera at. Once you click/press the shutter button it saves the 1.5 seconds of video before and after the click and discards the rest.

There is no wait time from when you click/press the button and when the picture is taken.
Rating: 3 Votes
9 months ago

I don't have the 6s yet, but can you export a live photo from image capture and/or iMazing app? And if so, what is it exactly?


No not at this time. It will revert to just the photo in anything that can't read the live photo.
Rating: 2 Votes

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