Live Photos

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Live Photos are a feature introduced with the iPhone 6s and the iPhone 6s Plus, designed to add life and vitality to the standard still photo. When capturing a picture, the Live Photo feature in the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus captures an extra 1.5 seconds before and after a shot, with the footage being used to animate the photo with movement and sound.

Live Photos can only be created on an iPhone 6s or 6s Plus, but they can be viewed on iOS devices that run iOS 9, Apple Watches that run watchOS 2, and Macs that run OS X El Capitan. On non-supported devices, Live Photos appear as standard JPGs.

'Live Photos' How Tos

How to Use Live Photos on iPhone 6s and 6s Plus

Apple's latest flagship handsets, the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, are the first to include the ability to take Live Photos. A Live Photo is a combination of up to a three-second .mov file and a still .jpg file that is taken automatically when you press the shutter button in your iPhone 6s or 6s Plus camera app. It grabs up to 1.5 seconds of 960x720 video before and 1.5 seconds of video after you tap the shutter button. The camera app on the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus automatically starts recording the moment you open the app. Then, after you tap the shutter button, it saves only that 1.5 seconds beforehand and discards the rest. That means, if you open your camera app and leave it open for a few minutes, your iPhone will be recording video the whole time. However, once you tap that shutter button, everything recorded prior to 1.5 seconds beforehand will be deleted. To help you get the most of Live Photos, we've put together this guide for how to get the best Live Photos, and what to do with them afterward. How to Take a Live Photo Most iPhone 6s and 6s Plus devices have Live Photos on by default. However, there have been cases where the feature is off. Open the Camera app on your iPhone. Tap the Live Photos icon in the center-top of the screen between HDR and the timer. It looks like a set of concentric circles. You will know when Live Photos is on when the icon is highlighted in yellow. The word "Live" will also appear at the top of the screen. This label will remain on until 1.5 seconds after you tap the shutter button. It signifies that the video

'Live Photos' Articles

Google's New 'Motion Stills' App Makes Live Photos a Whole Lot Better

Earlier this week, Google released a new app called Motion Stills, designed to turn Live Photos captured with the iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, and iPhone SE into GIFs or videos. Over the past couple of days, we spent some hands-on time with Motion Stills, and have been really impressed with the way it transforms Live Photos into a more useful, shareable medium. Motion Stills isn't just an app that converts a Live Photo to a GIF. As seen in the video below, it uses Google's video stabilization technology to smooth out jittery images and freeze backgrounds with some impressive-looking results. In addition to serving as a tool to convert Live Photos into GIFs and videos that can be quickly shared on social networks, Motion Stills is also useful simply as a tool to view Live Photos. In Apple's Photos app, there's no dedicated folder for Live Photos, so they can get lost among other images. Live Photos are viewable on Apple devices running iOS 9 or later or OS X 10.11 or later, and Apple has made an API available for developers to build Live Photos support into their apps, but there are no built-in tools for editing Live Photos or converting them to other formats. With no native tools available, Motion Stills fills a major Live Photos void. The app isn't perfect, has a few bugs, and works better with certain types of subjects, but overall, it's well worth checking out if you have a device capable of capturing Live Photos. Motion Stills can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Google Debuts 'Motion Stills' App for Creating GIFs and Movies from Live Photos

Google today announced the launch of a new app called Motion Stills, which is designed to create unique GIFs from Live Photo images captured with the iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, and iPhone SE. According to Google, the app was built by the Google Research Team and uses the company's video stabilization technology to freeze the background into a still photo or create cinematic panoramas. Multiple clips can also be combined into a montage. GIFs created by Motion Stills can be shared via apps like Messages or on social media networks. We pioneered this technology by stabilizing hundreds of millions of videos and creating GIF animations from photo bursts. Our algorithm uses linear programming to compute a virtual camera path that is optimized to recast videos and bursts as if they were filmed using stabilization equipment, yielding a still background or creating cinematic pans to remove shakiness. [...] Short videos are perfect for creating loops, so we added loop optimization to bring out the best in your captures. Our approach identifies optimal start and end points, and also discards blurry frames. As an added benefit, this fixes "pocket shots" (footage of the phone being put back into the pocket).There are several other apps designed to create GIFs for Live Photos, so Google's offering isn't unique, but it is notable that Google is offering an iOS-only app that works with an iOS-only feature. Google says the information it learns from Motion Stills will perhaps be used to introduce new capabilities into Google Photos in the future. Aside from making Live

OS X 10.11.4 Beta Adds Live Photos Support for Messages

Alongside the iOS 9.3 beta seeded to developers earlier this week, Apple also provided an OS X 10.11.4 beta with some minor updates to the OS X El Capitan operating system. OS X 10.11.4 was overshadowed by all of the features introduced in iOS 9.3 so it's taken a few days for people to dig into the release to find out what's new. One of the new additions to OS X 10.11.4 is improved Live Photos support in the Messages app. When Live Photos were introduced with the launch of the iPhone 6s, the only place to view them on a Mac was within the Mac Photos app. As of OS X 10.11.4, Live Photos can also be viewed directly in the Messages app on a Mac running the operating system update. When a message containing a Live Photo is received on OS X 10.11.4, it will have the familiar concentric circles icon that marks a Live Photo. Clicking on a Live Photo will open up the mini photo viewer as is standard procedure with viewing any photo within Messages on a Mac, and in this view, the Live Photo will now play when the Live Photo icon is clicked. The ability to view Live Photos directly within the Messages app is a useful change that makes it possible to see Live Photos content sent from friends and family without needing to open it up on an iOS device or save it to Photos on the Mac. In the future, Apple could expand Live Photos support even further, making them viewable in other apps like Mail, Safari, notes, and more. For those unfamiliar with Live Photos, it's an iPhone 6s feature that adds a hint of motion to still photos, not unlike the magical animated photos from

Facebook for iOS Gaining Support for iPhone 6s Live Photos Starting Today

Starting today, some Facebook users will be able to view Live Photos in their Facebook feeds using the Facebook for iOS app, reports TechCrunch. Introduced with the iPhone 6s and the iPhone 6s Plus, Live Photos are motion-enabled images that capture the moments just before and after a photo is taken. Facebook plans to gradually roll out support for Live Photos, so while some Facebook app users will be able to post and view Live Photos as of this morning, others will not have access to Live Photos support until the beginning of 2016. According to TechCrunch, uploading a Live Photo is done in the same way as uploading a regular photo, but there will be an option to choose whether to upload an image as a Live Photo or a regular photo during the uploading process. In a Facebook feed, Live Photos are denoted by a set of concentric circles and can be pressed to play. You’ll have to tap that box manually with each Live Photo, and with good reason: once enabled on your iPhone, Live Photos are created with little to no thought on your part. It’s easy to forget the feature is even on. Add in the fact that Live Photos include 1.5 seconds of video and audio from before/after the instant you hit that shutter button, and it’s easy to imagine a scenario where you unwittingly capture something you… maybe don’t want to make public. By making it opt-in with each photo, there’s less of a chance you’ll accidentally upload stuff you forgot was even there.While only the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus can take live photos, all iOS devices running iOS 9 can view them in the Facebook app. All

New Update Makes Tumblr First Major Social Network to Support Live Photos

While iPhone 6s and 6s Plus users can share Live Photos with each other through services like iMessage, the hybrid image / video can't be easily shared to social networks. Today, Tumblr updated its iOS app with Live Photos support, making it the first major social network to do so. As TechCrunch notes, Tumblr users tend to upload, share, and re-share GIFs and other kinds of animated images, including memes, at a rapid rate, likely making Tumblr the first place where Live Photos would be widely seen and viewed. The app was also updated with 3D Touch support. Now, users can press down on the app's icon to search the service from their home screen, activate Live Photos, and peek and pop into other users' Tumblrs by clicking on their name or avatar. While Tumblr does support Live Photos, they're only viewable within its iOS app. Other updates to the Tumblr app include the ability to send a post to any Tumblr user and messaging. Tumblr for iOS is available in the App Store for free. [Direct Link

Apple Shares New 'Half Court' Ad Showing Off Live Photos on iPhone 6s

Just a day after debuting three new iPhone 6s ads focused on the iPhone's camera and wireless "Hey Siri" functionality, Apple has shared a new short 15-second ad in the same series, this time focusing on Live Photos. In the "Half Court" ad, the iPhone 6s is used to capture a half-court shot made by Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, which is then played back again. The iPhone 6s is here, and the only thing that's changed with the camera is everything. Because now you can shoot amazing Live Photos. Bringing every moment, big or small, to life with just a touch.Yesterday's longer camera-focused iPhone 6s ad also featured a shot by Stephen Curry and both ads come just ahead of the start of the 2015-2016 NBA Regular season. The two ads may be featured during the Cavaliers/Bulls and Pelicans/Warriors games, set to be broadcast on TNT. Over the course of the last several weeks, Apple has launched more than five videos to market the iPhone 6s, which have focused on 3D Touch, Siri, and the new camera features in the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus. Apple has also released a number of Apple Watch ads highlighting Apple Music, Apple Pay, Siri, and more.

New 'Live GIF' App Turns Live Photos Into GIFs

The new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus allow users to create Live Photos, which capture an additional 3 seconds of video around a still image and play it back when a user 3D Touches the photo. Priime today launched a new app called Live GIF, letting users easily turn their Live Photos into GIFs that are viewable on all devices and the web. When launched, the app automatically detects whether your phone has Live Photos and lists them in a grid. The user simply has to tap the Live Photo they want to turn into a GIF and the app does the rest, converting it to a shareable GIF. That GIF or a video taken from the Live Photo can then be saved to the Camera Roll, sent in a message or email, or uploaded to social networks. While the app is fairly limited in use and sports a banner on the bottom prompting users to edit their photos in the freemium Priime photo editing app, Live GIF is the first app to enable users to convert their Live Photos to GIFs, allowing them to be shared on most social networks. Live GIF for iPhone is available in the App Store for $1.99. [Direct Link]

Live Photos Called 'Best New Feature,' Composed of Separate JPG and MOV Files

The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus include several new camera features that have been highly popular in reviews thus far, but there's also a fantastic update to the way photos are displayed on the two devices. With Live Photos, exclusive to the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, a bit of motion is captured alongside each photo, enabling short animations that bring each image to life. To enable Live Photos, the iPhone captures 1.5 seconds before every picture is taken and 1.5 seconds afterwards. The motion is then displayed whenever a 3D Touch force press is used on a photo, activating the animation to add a bit of context. With iPhone 6s reviews coming out today, we've learned several interesting details about the Live Photos feature, including some negative aspects that Apple's working to improve. We're also able to get an in-depth look at what the reviewers thought of the feature, giving us an idea of whether it's truly useful or more of a gimmick. Image via TechCrunch Apple has been quick to point out that a Live Photo is not a video, and it appears the feature is enabled by combining a 12-megapixel JPG with a MOV file. TechCrunch's Matthew Panzarino reports (in his full review of the new iPhones) that a Live Photo consists of a JPG combined with a MOV file that contains 45 frames playing back at around 15 frames per second. Combining a JPG with a MOV file means Live Photos take up twice the space of a normal image. Panzarino also shared some tips on getting good Live Photos shots, but said he believes the best use cases are still undiscovered.In my experience, Live Photos work

Apple's Live Photos Take Up About 2x Space of Normal Images

One of the novel new features coming in the iPhone 6s is the new Live Photos feature which captures an additional 3 seconds of video surrounding photos on the new iPhones. The new feature is on by default and allows you to take photos as usual. Apple describes it:A still photo captures an instant frozen in time. With Live Photos, you can turn those instants into unforgettable living memories. At the heart of a Live Photo is a beautiful 12‑megapixel photo. But together with that photo are the moments just before and after it was taken, captured with movement and soundLive Photos will be viewable on existing iPhones, iPads, Macs and Apple Watch devices with the latest operating systems. Apple is also opening up the API for developers to support the new format in their own apps. Facebook has already committed to supporting Live Photos in their iOS app later this year. While few details about the new image format has been released, TechCrunch's Matthew Panzarino reveals in a video that the new format will take up approximate twice the space of a normal 12MP photo. Panzarino describes that even the current iPhones start taking photos the moment the Camera app is launched, and that traditionally, only the last photo the moment the shutter is pressed is stored. The new system will simply take the surrounding photos and compress them into this new format. Meanwhile, @DanMatte reveals that the new Live Photos format is a bundle of images based on the JPEG file format, allowing them to be easily sent as a still image to devices that don't support Live Photo. Apple's d