Apple Live Photos

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Apple Live Photos - Consumer Awareness and Opinions

Live Photos was first released as a feature for iPhone 6s users in September 2015 with iOS 9. At the outset, it was not perceived as the most valuable addition to the iPhone Camera app, but has gained popularity as new phones and new Live Photos tools have been presented and address major concerns like capturing specific still photos and condensing file sizes. Parents, photographers, and social media marketers are currently the key users of the feature.


To identify these users and their concerns we referred to Apple help forums, articles relating to the use of the Live Photos feature, and questions and problems posed by the readers of such articles. In a piece published on Cult of Mac, it was reported that the overall reaction to the feature at its release was mixed, but that parents and professional photographers may find use for it. Others saw it as a “gimmick” that could not stand up to other apps and existing tools like Vine, Cinemagraphs, and GIF making.
In an Apple discussions thread dated in April 2017, more than 400 iPhone 6s users agreed that they were unsure why they could not use the feature and did not know how to adjust nor access it. Some users reported following the access instructions given by an Apple specialist and still found they were unable to take Live Photos.
Current users still appear to be struggling with some basic functions of the Live Photos feature, as evidenced by a discussion on a MacRumors forum in January 2018. The thread’s instigator claims to be unable to turn off Live Photos and keep it off. Other users within the same discussion seem to have no trouble adjusting the settings but say that they keep the feature off because it takes up too much of the memory on their devices or is not useful to them, and that they do not appreciate that the iPhone’s default for the Live Photos feature is set to “On.”
Photographers and those savvy in producing photo and video content for social media do seem to be interested in Live Photos and the potential it offers them as influencers and marketers. An October 2017 article on the popular site iPhone Photography School, gives those interested in sampling the feature a detailed step-by-step guide on how to take and edit a Live Photos item and depicts it as an exciting tool for capturing “an extra sensory element” to be presented alongside static images.
The questions and comments in the discussion below the article, however, do seem to point out some areas users are encountering problems and confusion. Several users were interested in knowing whether they could capture a still image within any part of the Live Photos and were dissatisfied that they were only seeing stills captured at the end of the video. Again many users expressed that they were unsure how to access or turn off Live Photos altogether, and still more were concerned with whether the feature would integrate with photo and video-editing apps they already used.
Within another Apple forum discussion from February 2018, it is acknowledged that Apple has addressed some of the previous concerns and introduced new tools like “Key Photo” with iOS 11. However, users again expressed their concern about the size of the files created by Live Photos and the overall quality of the content created. Several forum members discuss compression and resolution options of which the average consumer may not be aware.


The reception and use of the Live Photos feature seem to have had a slow start but is ultimately catching on. The main concerns with the feature appear to be file quality and file size, ease of access, and overall usefulness. As consumers upgrade to newer versions of the iPhone, Apple produces more accompanying tools, and more articles are written detailing the uses and options within the feature, Live Photos will continue to see an increase in use, especially among photographers and modern businesses using social media as their key marketing platforms.
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Apple Live Photos - Popular Apps that allow Users to upload Live Photos

We found ten apps that utilize the Apple Live Photo feature. In order of their popularity ranking they are, intoLive, Motion Photo, Lively, Video 2 Photo, LP, Motion Stills, Live Photo to GIF, Live Studio for Live Photos, Live GIF, and Unlive. Popularity was assessed using the star rating and the number of people rating the app. Each app is described below with its Apple App Store star rating and the number of people that rated it.
We located an article published by AppAdvice and took some of their suggestions. From there additional apps were found searching the App Store and following suggestions in reviews of more popular apps.
Each app description was recorded from the description displayed on the App Store page for that app. Each app header contains the app's name followed by star rating, number of raters and popularity score.
(Star Rating x Number of Ratings) = Popularity Score (PS)
Apps are organized according to their popularity score using the formula above.
intoLive 4.5 (2.7K ratings, PS = 12150)
The intoLive app is primarily for turning photos, GIFs, and other media into Live Photos for conversion into wallpaper, but a user may also open their own Live Photos in the app for editing and wallpaper setting. The app does include filters and allows a user to change the first frame of a Live Photo if desired. This app has in-app purchases.
Motion Photo 4.3 (1.3K ratings, PS = 5590)
With Motion Photo a user can create movies or a slideshow out of Live Photos. It also has the option to add effects to and choose the perfect frame from Live Photos. Features are being updated constantly, at the moment they include, Live, loop, bounce, flick, blurry, reverse, shake, many filters, editing, speed augmentation, direction augmentation, and a combination of multiple Live Photos into a movie or slideshow. Files can be exported as a GIF or video, they may also be shared on Instagram and Facebook. There is a subscription-based version, costing $3.99 per week or $5.99 per month. The subscription gives unlimited access to all features.
Lively 4.7 (1.2K ratings, PS = 5640)
Lively is a GIF maker app. An iPhone user can open their Live Photos in Lively to edit them. Users can trim, play in reverse, auto reverse and speed control, resizing, 3D touch support, frame pick, and export with a free watermark. Live Photos shared though Lively may be uploaded to IMessenger, Facebook Messenger, Twitter, Slack, Tumblr and more. This app has in-app purchases.
Video 2 Photo 4.8 (815 ratings, PS = 3192)
Video 2 Photo allows iPhone users to open Live Photo files, the user crops out the part they don’t want and then export the desired result in the form of a PNG or JPEG to the desired location. The finished photo can be exported to the camera roll, other locations on the device, the cloud, social media sites or onto another device. This app costs $1.99.
LP 3.9 (85 ratings, PS = 331.5)
LP allows users to export single frames from Live Photos and converts Live Photos into GIF or video files. Framerates are adjustable, conversion runs in the background and batch exports are possible in GIF mode.
Motion Stills 3.1 (46 ratings, PS = 142.6)
With Motion Stills, a user can create GIFs and video collages using Googles stabilization technology from their Live Photos. There are motion text and emojis that can be added to creations. Frame picking and stills may be created from Live Photos.
Live Photo to GIF 4.2 (33 ratings, PS = 138.6)
Live Photo to GIF allows users to convert their Live Photos into GIF files and make video clips. Editing features include speed alteration, and the option to add stickers, emojis, text, and filters to the newly created GIF files. Premium features include additional stickers and text fonts.
Live Studio for Live Photos 4.1 (18 ratings, PS = 73.8)
Live Studio for Live Photos allows users to convert Live Photos to video or GIF format. There is an option were albums of Live Photos may be converted into a video at the same time. This app costs $0.99.
Live GIF 2.9 (13 ratings, PS = 37.7)
Live GIF allows users to convert Live Photos to GIF or video formats. They can then be shared on Facebook, iMessage, Twitter, email, Instagram, and more.
Unlive 4.6 (5 ratings, PS = 23)
Unlive is a conversion app. It will take Live Photos and convert them for export. Photo formats offered are, JPEG and PNG, videos are MOV and GIF. The GIF file type may be looped and in addition to changing the file type, the user also has the option to change the size. This app costs $1.99.
We have reported on ten apps that use the Live Photo feature for iPhone. They have been listed and described in order of popularity. Popularity was assessed by giving each app a score using the star rating and the number of people that ranked the app. The apps listed are, intoLive, Motion Photo, Lively, Video 2 Photo, LP, Motion Stills, Live Photo to GIF, Live Studio for Live Photos, Live GIF, and Unlive.