How to Edit Live Photos in iOS 11

by

Apple originally debuted Live Photos in 2015, alongside the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, marking it as a feature that enhances the smartphone's photography with pictures that move when a user performs a 3D Touch on them. With the launch of iOS 11, Live Photos can now be edited in a few useful ways, and this guide will help you make a new key photo (which shows up first in your Photo Album), as well as explain how to add new animation effects to a Live Photo.

To begin, taking a Live Photo hasn't changed with the new iPhone software: simply open your Camera app, tap the circular Live Photos icon at the top center of the screen, and take a picture.

Making a New Key Photo

  1. Open Photos.
  2. Tap the "Albums" tab, then navigate to the Live Photos album to find your image.
  3. Tap "Edit" in the top right corner of the image you select.
  4. At the bottom of the screen, scrub through your Live Photo and find the exact spot you want for a new Key Photo.
  5. Tap "Make Key Photo."
  6. Tap "Done."

Changing a Live Photo Effect

  1. Find the Live Photo you want to edit and select it.
  2. From the center of the screen, swipe up.
  3. Here you'll find three new Live Photo effects.
  4. Choose Loop, Bounce, or Long Exposure.
  5. Swipe down to see the effect in full screen.

Live Photos now have the full suite of editing options previously available to traditional still photos only, including: rotating, cropping, filters, and light and color balancing. You can also choose to mute the Live Photo (volume icon at the top left in edit mode), and automatically enhance it (wand icon at the top right in edit mode). Markup is one editing feature that does not support Live Photos, however.

After you choose a new Key Photo and find a new effect, you can replay your Live Photo like before by performing a 3D Touch action anywhere on the screen of an iPhone 6s device or later.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
40 months ago
I've discovered that if you pick a new "Key photo" in a live photo, the quality is quite a bit lower than the original "actual photo".

It seems the live photo video is taken in 4K on the iPhone 7, but 4K video is still less quality than a full resolution still photo. So be careful, and only pick a different "key photo" if the actual photo you took is useless.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
40 months ago

Isn’t only the picture itself taken as the photo while the rest is just video?
This would mean that choosing a new key photo would decrease the quality, wouldn’t it??

This is a good assumption to make, but I did wonder if Apple found a way to make the entire live photo full resolution, so I wanted to check for myself.

I confirmed that it's indeed not full resolution, like I expected. But Apple doesn't make this obvious so it's to everyone's benefit to be aware of the reduced quality when you change the key photo.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
40 months ago
None of the new effects are particularly useful. One of them should have been “export gif” since that’s what non-iOS 11 users can actually see. If you send a photo with the new effects to a non-iOS 11 user they get a short video clip. Lame.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
40 months ago
When you export a Live Photo to, say, an email, it will export the JPEG of your selected Key Frame. Be advised that if you select any other frame except the original, you’ll get a 10 megapixel still of a video, which will be not as sharp as the original Key Frame. AirDrop and iMessage will send the full Live Image.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
40 months ago
That’s unfortunate. The 10 MP resolution indicates that the iPhone 8 still uses the pic + video for live images. Ah well.

Also, you can mute a live image: edit, and click the audio button in top left corner.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

First Impressions From New iPhone 12 and 12 Pro Owners

Thursday October 22, 2020 4:20 pm PDT by
It's already Friday, October 23, in Australia and New Zealand, which means some customers who purchased an iPhone 12 or 12 Pro already have their new devices in hand. We've seen dozens of reviews of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro from media sites, but now first impressions from regular Apple customers are available. Image via MacRumors reader Boardiesboi New iPhone 12 and 12 Pro owners are...

New Photos Offer Better Look at iPhone 12 Color Options

Tuesday October 20, 2020 2:34 am PDT by
As we wait for the iPhone 12 review embargo to lift later today, more pictures are circulating of the devices in real-world lighting conditions, providing a better look at the different colors available. Leaker DuanRui has shared images on Twitter of the iPhone 12 in white, black, blue, green, and (PRODUCT)RED. The black and white colors are similar to the iPhone 11 colors, but the other...

Photographer Austin Mann Tests the iPhone 12 Pro's Camera

Wednesday October 21, 2020 4:14 am PDT by
Travel photographer Austin Mann usually performs an in-depth review of new iPhone models to test their camera performance in real-world scenarios. To test Apple's new iPhone 12 Pro, Mann traveled to Glacier National Park, Montana. Mann focused on some of the biggest camera upgrades with the iPhone 12 Pro, including the upgraded Wide lens, Ultra Wide Night mode, and LiDAR autofocus, across a...

iPhone 12 Pro Max Has Smaller 3,687 mAh Battery According to Regulatory Filing

Tuesday October 20, 2020 8:48 pm PDT by
Apple's new iPhone 12 Pro Max is equipped with a 3,687 mAh battery, which is around 7% less capacity than the 3,969 mAh battery in the iPhone 11 Pro Max, according to a regulatory filing published by TENAA, the Chinese equivalent of the FCC. The regulatory filing, spotted by MacRumors, also lists the iPhone 12 Pro Max with 6GB of RAM as seen in benchmark results last week. Apple has filed ...

5G Drains iPhone 12 Battery 20% Faster Than 4G in Benchmark

Wednesday October 21, 2020 3:17 am PDT by
After the first reviews for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro emerged yesterday, a new report by Tom's Guide reveals the extent of battery life reductions when using 5G. The report outlines a test wherein the iPhone surfs the web continuously at 150 nits of screen brightness, launching a new site every 30 seconds until the battery drains. Interestingly, the test was run on an iPhone 12 and...

Teardown Video Confirms iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro Use Same 2,815mAh Battery

Thursday October 22, 2020 9:47 am PDT by
With the iPhone 12 launching on Friday and in just a few hours to Australia and New Zealand, hands-on videos, teardowns, reviews, and other iPhone-related content has been coming out. A new teardown video delves into both the iPhone 12 and the 12 Pro, confirming battery life for both models and giving us a closer look at their internals. The video from Io Technology is in Chinese, but ...

French iPhone Boxes Come Packed in an Outer Box With Separate EarPods

Wednesday October 21, 2020 6:52 am PDT by
After the news that France would be the only territory to continue to include EarPods with the iPhone, it seems that Apple is not packing the earbuds within the iPhone's box (via iGeneration). Screenshot from TheiCollection's review video The French iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro does not have a different retail box to accommodate EarPods, meaning that all iPhone boxes are consistent...

Some Defective Apple iPhone 12 Cases Shipping Without Speaker Holes

Wednesday October 21, 2020 12:54 pm PDT by
At least two customers who have purchased iPhone 12 cases have received defective cases that do not have speaker holes, which obscures the sound. Photo by Reddit user zarnold16 There have been two separate threads on Reddit from iPhone 12 customers who purchased a case and received one without speaker holes. One customer was told by an Apple advisor that the case wasn't meant to have...

Watch: New iPad Air Unboxing Videos and First Impressions

Wednesday October 21, 2020 6:00 am PDT by
Apple's embargo has lifted on reviews for the new iPad Air ahead of its launch on Friday. In addition to our more detailed review roundup, we've shared a handful of unboxing videos and first impressions of the device below. The new iPad Air via Karl Conrad The new iPad Air features a larger 10.9-inch edge-to-edge display, a faster A14 Bionic chip, and a USB-C port instead of Lightning. It is...

Apple's AirTags Revealed in Newly Published Patent Applications

Thursday October 22, 2020 9:13 am PDT by
Two patent applications filed by Apple appear to depict the company's widely expected AirTags item trackers (via Patently Apple). The filings, which include a large number of images, are titled "Mounting Base for a Wirelessly Locatable Tag" and "Fastener with a Constrained Retention Ring," and describe a wirelessly locatable tag that can be used to determine the absolute location of an...