How to Share Live Photos With Everyone (spoiler: Animated GIFs)

| How-To

Live Photos are a new feature to the iPhone 6s and 6s+. Watching photos come to life is actually really neat, provided you got a new iPhone in the last few days. When you take the picture, you get about 1.5 seconds of the action both before and after you hit the shutter button. As of this moment, viewing on the device that took the Live Photo, or one it got iMessage-d to is the only way to see a Live Photo in all its Livey-ness. This is what it looks like:


You can't yet embed them on the Web, and you can't view them in other apps. Facebook (and therefore Instagram, presumably) pledged to support Live Photos, and Apple has announced that Live Photo export and sharing will be part of iOS 9.1, but until that happens, you can still do something with a Live Photo. It's going to take a little work—and it's not as cool as Live Photo—but it can be done. This will come in handy if you need to share with others who aren't LINK able to play back Live Photos natively LINK.

If you use the Photos app on your Mac, importing these images will give you two entries: one for a still JPG and one for a MOV file. You can take that MOV file and open it in your favorite GIF app and create something shareable to the rest of the world.  Here's one I processed through GIF Brewery, a $4.99 app on the Mac App Store:

Using GIF Brewery to export a Live Photo. Of a Tiki Bar entryway.

It's not a long process, but you do have to make sure to import the photo (and it's accompanying MOV file) into Photos, then locate that MOV file and open it with your GIF making app of choice. Once you have a GIF, you can meme it or Tumblr it or whatever it is the young people are doing with GIFs these days.

Here's a GIF of the entryway at Hale Pele, complete with Kelly Shadow!

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The fact that people are taking videos of their Live Photo in order to show how well it works is a pretty good indicator that something isn’t right. But the biggest problem is that sharing a Live Photo shouldn’t be difficult at all. The Live Photo process creates a .jog and .mov but that movie file is inaccessible from the phone intentionally to make a universal file proprietary and Force Touch more unique than it is. And that is why many people are calling Live Photos a gimmick
The OSX Photos App shows how simple this whole thing is underneath. Just view a picture by clicking it. and make it move by clicking the “live” button. No force touching, no bi fingers in the way and sharing is a .mov file away.

It’s a shame because this is something Apple could’ve made as a gift for the universe but instead is locked down until the universe caters to Apple.


I was SO disappointed that the iOS 9 upgrade didn’t bring Live Photos to my iPhone 6. I’ll have to wait for the 7.
I do hope they come up with an easier way to share these with full motion.
I don’t suppose anyone will ever get us a away to share them in print, like in the movies. That would be the best…

I’m just concerned that this will just bring all of those folks who mis-pronounce GIF all over again. It’s funny, they don’t seem to have any problem pronouncing Gmail.

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