Apple’s Live Photos technology allows one photo to be both a still image, and when activated, a short video that includes motion and sound. You can imagine an animated GIF with audio that is automatically generated from your photos. This will give you a good idea of Live Photos. There’s more to iPhone Live photos than this.
This article was written in iOS14. However, the basic concepts are applicable to iOS 9 and higher. Older iOS versions may have slightly different steps or menu names.
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Who can use them?
In September 2015, Live Photos were added to the iPhone 6S Series. Because they use the 3D Touchscreen, Live Photos was a flagship feature for the 6S. The list of devices that support Live Photos has grown significantly since then. It is not limited to devices with 3D Touch screen (which is good because Apple discontinued this technology). To use Live Photos, you need:
- iPhone 6S or later (including the iPhone XS, XS, and XR), or iPhone SE.
- 5th Generation iPad or Newer
- Newer iPad Air models or the 3rd Generation iPad Air.
- 5th Generation iPad mini or Newer
- iPad Pro models starting in 2016 and later.
- iOS 9 and higher
How Do Live Photos Work?
Many iPhone users don’t know that Live Photos works with a background feature. The Camera app automatically starts taking photos when you open it. This allows the phone’s camera to take photos as fast as possible. If the photos are not required, they will be automatically deleted without the user being aware.
Live Photos are more than just taking a photo. The iPhone also captures the image and keeps the photos it took in the background. The iPhone then saves the photos taken before and after taking the photo. It can then stitch together all these photos into a smooth animation lasting around 1.5 seconds. This is the Live Photo.
The iPhone saves photos and audio.
It’s not quite the same as a video–think of it more like stop-motion animation–and it’s not ultra-high-resolution, but it’s fun and useful.
How to take a live photo on iPhone
It is easy to take an iPhone Live Photo. Follow these steps to take an iPhone Live Photo
- Start the Camera App.
- Find the icon with three concentric circles at the top of your screen (on some iOS versions, it is in the middle). It’s located at the top right in newer iOS versions. It should be enabled. The light will turn on when it is active and it won’t have any lines through it.
- As you would normally, take your photo.
How to view a live photo
It’s amazing to see a Live Photo transform with sound and movement. View a live photo:
- To open the Photos app, or, if the Live Photo was taken, tap the photo icon at the bottom left corner Camera App. You can skip Step 3.
- To view the Live Photo, tap it.
- Hold the screen down until the Live Photo appears.
How to find live photos in the Photos App
Apple did not add a section in the Photos app specifically for Live Photos at first. It was difficult to find them. It’s now a breeze. How to locate Live Photos in iOS Photos
- To open the photos app, tap on it.
- Tap Albums.
- Scroll down to the Media types section, and tap live photos. Here are all the Live Photos that you have taken.
How to add effects to live photos
You can now add cool effects to Live Photos in iOS v4.2. These are the steps to add these effects and others:
- Open the Photos app. Find the Live Photo that you wish to add effects. Tap it.
- To view the Effects section, swipe up on the Live Photo.
- To apply an effect, tap it. It will automatically play whenever you long-press the Live Photo as long as it is selected.
How to edit a live photo
You can trim the frames in the Live Photo to create the perfect animation. Here’s how:
- Open the Photos app, and locate the Live Photo that you wish to edit. Tap it.
- Tap Edit.
- Tap the Live Photos icon near the bottom.
- Hold the left end the frame bar, just below the photo. Drag the frame bar until it is yellow and you are ready to begin the Live Photo.
- Repeat the steps at the right end to modify the Live Photo’s location.
- To save your edited Live Photo, tap Done
How to change a live photo Key photo
By selecting the Key Photo, you can select the still frame that best represents the Live Photo from your Photos app.
- Open the Photos app to find the Live Photo with the Key Photo that you wish to modify. Tap it.
- Tap Edit.
- Tap the Live Photos icon in the lower right corner of the screen.
- Tap the frame bar located below the photo. Once you have selected a frame, tap Make a Key Photo.
- To save the changes, tap Done.
How to turn off live photos
You’ve decided that Live Photos are not something you want to do and want it disabled by default. This is actually more complicated than it appears. The default setting of the Camera app is to turn on Live Photos each time you use it. This applies even if the option was disabled the last time you used it. Apple offers a way to stop Camera from turning on Live Photos every time. These steps will help you do this:
- Tap Settings.
- Tap Camera.
- Tap Save Settings.
- Set the Live Image slider at off/white
- Go to the Camera app, and tap on the Live Photo icon. It’s disabled when it’s not lit up or has a line through. Live Photos will now turn off automatically because you chose to keep the off setting from the previous steps.
These steps also apply when upgrading to a new smartphone. Live Photos will turn on by default if you do not have Preserve Settings enabled. Make sure you have this option enabled and Live Photos will be disabled when you back up your phone with old data.
Is it possible to make a live photo a regular photo?
Although you cannot transform a standard image in a Live Photo to make it look different, you can still take Live photos and make them static using these steps:
- The Photos app is available.
- Choose the Live Photo that you wish to edit.
- Tap Edit.
- To disable Live Photo, tap the icon.
- Tap Live at the top of your screen. The word will be grayed out, and a line will appear through the icon.
- Tap Done.
You won’t be able to see any movement if you long-press the photo. Follow these steps to restore a Live Photo you have edited. Tap the Live icon and highlight it again.
How much space do live photos take up?
Video files take up more space that still photos, as we all know. Do you need to be concerned about Live Photos running out of storage?
Most likely. According to reports Live Photos take up approximately twice the space of a standard image; this is a lot less than what a video takes.