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

Discussion in 'Guides, How Tos and Reviews' started by MacRumors, Nov 12, 2015.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    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 recording is complete.
    Your Live Photo is automatically stored in your Photos app, just like traditional photos are for non-iPhone 6s or 6s Plus users. However, when you use 3D Touch on the screen, they come to life.

    Click here to

    Article Link: How to Use Live Photos on iPhone 6s and 6s Plus
  2. cariacou macrumors 6502a


    Jul 21, 2010
    "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"

    that's obviously wrong. it would be an awful software design if it was storing Gbytes of useless data.
    it just uses a cyclic buffer whose size is 1.5s. at any point in time, the frame prior to 1.5s gets replaced by the current frame.
  3. bladerunner2000 macrumors 68020


    Jun 12, 2015
    Nice of Apple to screw up and complicate this so badly when everyone already knows what a GIF is and is so much simpler.

  4. carpediemclarke macrumors newbie


    Sep 2, 2015
    Hated it after 2 days. The pics it takes are off by a split second.
  5. konqerror macrumors 6502

    Dec 31, 2013
    A losslessly compressed 1 megapixel GIF featuring a whole 256 colors.

    Clearly you are the master of computers and are smarter than the engineers at Apple.
  6. TMRJIJ macrumors 68030


    Dec 12, 2011
    South Carolina, United States
    Well this instruction manual sucks. I'm pretty sure my iPhone is not supposed to be in the washing machine with my delicate whites. :cool:

    But for real though, this is a pretty cool feature.
  7. tzeshan macrumors regular

    Dec 12, 2009
    I am not everyone. I do not know what a GIF is. Please tell me how to do it with GIF.
  8. macrumors newbie

    Sep 11, 2014
    Also, if you move a live photo out of the Photos app on Mac, it no longer remains a live photo, even if you import it back into the Photos app.
  9. Fzang macrumors 65816


    Jun 15, 2013
    Extremely cool feature for live concerts. You have a shot frozen in time, that can briefly play the song and invoke the mood. Perfect for when you don't want to stand and record the whole concert.

    Too bad the sharing features are horribly implemented. This format is so "finicky" that you easily lose the entire function of a Live Photo.
  10. extrachrispy macrumors regular


    Jul 29, 2009
    Austin, Texas
    Is there a way, within Photos, to "thin" the live photo down to a normal snapshot (i.e., discard the .mov clip)?
  11. beanbaguk macrumors 6502a


    Mar 19, 2014
    I tried it out for a short while while at my nephews christening. It was terrible. As mentioned, photos were out of sync, the video quality was poor and it was usually blurred. And then what am I supposed to do with it? I can't share it. I can only view it on my own phone and once I've seen it the one time, I'll never view it again so all it does is waste space.

    It's off on my phone and shall remain off permanently.
  12. WBRacing macrumors 6502a


    Nov 19, 2012
    I agree, sadly. It's another missed shot on an open goal.

    After the novelty value wore out after about half an hour (with the previously mentioned sync/blurring issues) I still persevered with it. Sadly it seems not that many people are interested in watching me hold up my device so they can see some brief and blurring image.

    A GIF may only have a 256 palette, at least it can be shared and viewed easily by others.

    It might be superior to a current GIF, being "losslessly compressed 1 megapixel" but with an audience of only 1 and taking up lots of space on my device, I for one couldn't say that it is superior....
  13. mlody macrumors 6502a

    Nov 11, 2012
    Windy City
    I admire you for keeping with this nonsense for 2 days. I turned off mine after shooting 3 pictures!
  14. ConnYoungy macrumors 6502a

    Aug 14, 2010
    Is it just me or do the examples on Apple's website look CONSIDERABLY better quality than the ones that come out of the iPhone.... (6+!)
  15. lederermc macrumors 6502


    Sep 30, 2014
    It's a flop! Worst of all that due (presumably) to the audio clip associated with a Live Photo the ability to listen to music is disabled when using the camera app (in SLO-MO, Photo and Square modes). This crappy feature is not considered a bug.
  16. LastLine macrumors 65816

    Aug 24, 2005
    I love the feature personally, but I can't figure how to sync them back from Photos to my Phone again....anyone got any ideas?
  17. bradleethedawg macrumors newbie


    Feb 25, 2016
    NYC NY
    To me this feels like a Gimmick. Not even my kids care anything about it. Apple is going to have to do a lot of improving to make Live Photos into anything worthwhile IMO
  18. andiwm2003 macrumors 601


    Mar 29, 2004
    Boston, MA
    yep, stopped using it after an hour or so. However the main complaint I have is the weird playback.

    It seems the main pic is shown first, then everything goes out of focus and then the film sequence is played. This doesn't look smooth at all. I though in the beginning the camera was broken and so did most people that looked at it.

    Also they should record a series of full resolution pics so that you can pic the perfect timed picture after the fact. But as it is now (and I understand the technical limitations) you can not pic a frame from half a second before or after in full resolution.

    So to me it's more a distraction and a gimmick.
  19. lederermc macrumors 6502


    Sep 30, 2014
    Actually your suggestion makes sense. The Apple camera app should have an edit function to a burst-mode-sequence that makes the .mov that goes with a chosen key frame. I've been looking for an app that can make a .mov from a burst-mode sequence.

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