One of iOS 11's coolest new features is the built-in ability to create different effects in Live Photos. Rather than just have the one standard effect that's been with us since the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus launched in 2015, we now have three effects.
What is a Live Photo?
Live Photos was primarily designed as a way to ensure that you don't miss the perfect shot when you snap a photo on your iPhone. It does this by capturing a few frames of video before and after you press the shutter button. Once done, it selects the one image from that collection of frames that it thinks is the best.
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What's more, if you use one of these Live Photos as your Lock Screen wallpaper - and you have an iPhone equipped with a pressure sensitive screen - you can force press on your Lock Screen to show the video animation. This works on any iPhone released since the iPhone 6S (except the iPhone SE).
In iOS 11, Live Photos still operates this way, but Apple has decided to add a few new video/photo effects and transitions to make more use of the technology.
How to take a Live Photo
In your iPhone camera app, make sure the Live Photo capture option is enabled. This looks like a set of diffused rings in the camera toolbar. When activated, it's yellow; it's grey when not.
Once that's activated, all you have to do is take a photo by pressing the shutter button, or by clicking one of the volume buttons on your phone.
How do you create Loop, Bounce and Long Exposure effects in iOS 11?
After taking your Live Photo, in iOS 11, head to your Photos gallery and choose the photo you want to add the effect to. Swipe upwards on the photo and you'll reveal a new interface underneath the photo. You'll find the Live Photos effects at the top of this area, with thumbnail previews of what the animation will look like.
Each effect does what its name suggests it will. Loop essentially plays the video, then repeats it with a brief cross dissolve style transition between when it ends and when it begins again.
Bounce is iOS 11's built-in version of Boomerang, a feature made popular in Instagram's Stories. It plays the short video, then immediately reverses it.
Long Exposure is cheating, pure and simple; but it works, and is certainly easier than trying to create a manual long exposure shot using a tripod and a manual camera app. It combines the frames of the video into one, blurred image. It's great for waterfalls, seas and rivers - or any moving water for that matter.
How do I share new Live Photos on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter?
Some social networks do support sharing these new Live Photos, but there is one thing worth noting: they technically save as videos. And, depending on how long the video is when it's saved, the number of apps you can use to share could be limited.
The best way to see which apps support them is opening the Live Photo you want to share, hit the Share icon, and see which services show up in there.
As an example, Instagram videos need to be three seconds in length, or longer, so you can't share the Loop effect ones, since those tend to be only a second or so. Bounce effects can be shared, since most of those will be exactly three seconds long. Long Exposure photos just save as photos, and can be shared as such.
Twitter is more restricted; in our testing, we weren't able to select Twitter from the Share menu of Loop or Bounce Live Photos. We also weren't able to find the Live Photos as options to select when trying to compose a new tweet in the Twitter app. We were able to share the Long Exposure photo as normal though.
Facebook will allow you to share Loops, Bounces and Long Exposures freely. Just head into the Share menu on the Live Photo and choose the "Facebook" option.
One handy tip - if you're happy just sharing a still key image from your Live Photo - you can create a duplicate before changing the Live Photo effect style. Just hit the Share menu on your original photo, tap the "Duplicate" button and then select "Duplicate as Still Photo". Now you'll have one photo you can share on any social network, and one that you can use to create Live Photo effects with.