Live Photos

Read Cult of Mac’s latest posts on Live Photos:

How to make stickers from personal photos for fun group chats

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Cut Your Own Stickers
Make your own stickers from your own photos.
Image: Watty62/Wikimedia Commons/D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

You can make custom stickers from photos on your iPhone and send them in iMessage, Snapchat and WhatsApp. Stickers made from your own pictures are a lot of fun to send in group chats. They’re great for sending highly personal reactions using photos of people or pets that everyone knows. You can even add fun sticker effects.

Making these custom stickers from photos stems from an iOS 16 featured that brought the ability to copy and paste the subject from a picture. Now, in iOS 17, it’s easy to collect your personalized cutouts int a set of digital stickers you can use anywhere. I’ll show you how it all works.

How to save your Live Photos as a video

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Make A Video Out Of Your Pictures
Turn your many, many cat photos into a few great videos.
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

You can turn multiple Live Photos shot on your iPhone into a video. Simply select a group of Live Photos taken in a burst, and you can create a single, stitched-together video that you can save to your library and share on social media.

Here’s how it’s done.

iOS 17 Messages app can make Live Photos and all emoji into stickers

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With Messages in iOS 17, you can turn subjects you've taken from your photos into stickers.
With Messages in iOS 17, you can turn subjects you've taken from your photos into stickers.
Photo: Apple
WWDC23

WWDC23’s keynote wasn’t just about big OS and hardware releases. It also brought some fun stuff — like new sticker functionality coming to the Messages app and beyond.

Using Messages on your iPhone (and perhaps elsewhere), you should be able to liven up your texting by turning any emoji, photo subject or even Live Photo (short video) into a sticker you can drag into any text bubble — or anywhere you use emoji.

How to combine Live Photos into a shareable video

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live photo videos
Turn your Live Photos into videos.
Photo: Muhammad Haikal Sjukri/Unsplash

In iOS 13 and iPadOS, you can easily collect a bunch of Live Photos, and combine them into a single video. It’s great for sharing, or just making a cool remix of your clips. And this isn’t another one of those (awesome) posts where we use Shortcuts to do the dirty work. Making Live Photos videos is a new feature built into the Photos app.

Here’s how to use it.

How to use a GIF for your iPhone wallpaper

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Look at this wallpaper. Just look at it.Look at this wallpaper. Just look at it.
Look at this wallpaper. Just look at it.
Photo: Jake Cvnningham/Flickr CC

Wouldn’t it be great if you could take that awesome (and hilarious!) GIF, and use it as an animated wallpaper for your iPhone? You could wake your iPhone, press on the screen, and watch the action unfold. Over and over. And over.

Sadly, GIF wallpapers are impossible. Or are they? Well, you can’t set an actual GIF to run as your lock-screen wallpaper, but you can convert any GIF into a Live Photo, and use that to animate your iPhone’s lock screen.

Here’s how.

How to take long exposure iPhone photos [Quick Tips]

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live photos
Create stunning long exposure style photos in seconds on your iPhone.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

They say the best camera is the one you have with you. And when isn’t the iPhone with you? iPhone photography has created a whole new generation of amateur photographers. While you may be looking for the next great app to help produce some stunning photos, did you know you can easily recreate a long exposure style image right within the camera app?

Check out our latest Quick Tips video below to see how.

Pro Tip: How to pick a new thumbnail for your Live Photos

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live photos key
With Live Photos new key-photo settings, you can go back in time.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Pro Tip Cult of Mac bugWhen you take a Live Photo, your iPhone automatically picks a key frame to serve as the non-animated thumbnail. Depending on your subject, this automatic pick may be terrible, showing a blurred frame, or worse. If you’ve shot a photo of a skateboarder popping a sweet heel flip, for example, the still frame may not even have the skater in it.

The good news is that you can easily choose your own key frame.

Apple’s latest videos show off iPhone X’s portrait selfies

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Portrait Lighting in selfies. Humankind can now sit back and relax.
Portrait Lighting in selfies. Humankind can now sit back and relax.
Photo: Apple

Apple published a new set of videos today giving iPhone X owners some more tips on how to get the most out Apple’s most advanced camera ever.

The new videos show how to take advantage of the new Portrait mode selfies feature on the iPhone X and the best way to edit them. There’s also a new tutorial for Live Photos that shows you how to create a bounce photo which is a lot like Instagram’s boomerang feature.

Check ’em out:

Easily convert Live Photos into GIFs in iOS 11 [Quick Tips]

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iPhone X Live Photos

Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Live Photos are great. They can capture special moments in a way that some pictures just can’t. The little movie clips that play when you force-touch a Live Photo can show the joy or wonder of the image. But therein lies the problem. They’re basically video clips embedded into photos, which makes sharing them to non-iOS users a nightmare.

A plethora of apps can convert Live Photos into GIFs or a standard video clip, but iOS 11 makes it even easier. Check out our video below to see how to quickly convert a Live Photo into a GIF.

How to create long-exposure effects with iPhone

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long exposure sea
Long exposures turn moving water into creepy mist.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

One of the neatest tricks you can do with a standalone camera is the long exposure trick. You may have seen it used to turn the tail-lights of a car into long streaks of red curving through the dark behind a ghostly car, or to blur turbulent waters into a peaceful, misty-looking lake. In a regular camera, you have to finagle the shutter speed to get the level of blur just right, and there’s no second chance. On the iPhone, it’s way easier.

How to capture FaceTime Live Photos

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facetime live view
FaceTime can capture LivePhotos and save them to your camera roll.
Photo: Cult of Mac

You know how when you’re on a FaceTime call with your parents, and your father holds his favorite recipe up to the camera, and you use the screenshot to capture a photo of it? Well, now there’s a proper, official way to capture images from FaceTime calls. Even better, they’re not just stills. The captures are Live Photos, so you can relive that goofy smile from your grandparent long after they’re gone.

Everything you need to know about the JPEG-killing HEIF format Apple is adopting

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HEIF
HEIF may finally end JPEG's 25-year reign.
Images: Cult of Mac/Apple

HEIF is the new photo format that Apple is using to replace JPEG. And it probably will replace JPEGs, because the iPhone is the most popular, most-used camera in the world, and as of iOS 11, most iPhones will be switching from JPEG to HEIF.

But what is HEIF? What makes it better than JPEG? And what difference will it make to you, really?

Download the latest iOS 11 public beta now

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iPhone 7 iOS 11
A redesigned Control Center is one of many changes to look forward to in iOS 11.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Just one day after developers received the fifth beta build of iOS 11, Apple has released the same beta update to public testers, bringing a number of UI changes and bug fixes with it.

iOS 11 public beta 4 and macOS High Sierra public beta 4 are now available to download for all members of Apple’s public beta software testing program. You can also download the new software directly to your Mac, iPhone or iPad if you have the previous public beta installed.

Everything new with Apple’s Photos app in macOS High Sierra

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Cult of Mac
The Photos app in macOS High Sierra comes packed with great new features.
Photo: Cult of Mac

In macOS High Sierra, the built-in Photos app packs some great new tools as well as lots of small improvements. It brings better organization, new editing tools (like selective color and curves), and extended integration with third-party apps.

Check out all the new features and improvements in Apple’s Photos app.

How to pick the perfect frame on iPhone Live Photos

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Live Photos are magical.
Live Photos are magical.
Photo: Apple

The iPhone’s Live Photos feature is one of the funnest innovations Apple’s brought to photography. There’s just one annoying problem with the moving pictures: you can’t choose which frame it uses for the final image.

Thanks to a third-party app there’s finally a way to do just that, making Live Photos more versatile than ever.

Photographers rejoice! iOS 10 lets you snap RAW images

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iPhone 6 Plus
You may be in for a treat when you visit the Genius Bar.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Pictures snapped from an iPhone are about to take a huge step closer to pro status this year and you won’t even need to buy the iPhone 7 Plus’ rumored dual lens to get them.

For the first time ever, Apple is finally bringing RAW image files to the Camera app in iOS 10 thanks to a new AVCaptureOutput that will also allow third-party apps to snap Live Photos along with RAW.

Where is Android’s answer to iPhone SE?

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where-is-androids-answer-to-iphone-se-image-cultofandroidcomwp-contentuploads201603iPhone-SE-png
With iPhone SE, Apple delivers something Android doesn't.
Photo: Apple

Die-hard Android fans probably had little interest in Apple’s keynote Monday, but believe it or not, plenty will be interested in the new iPhone SE.

With high-end specifications and a 4-inch display, it’s a compact smartphone for those who want the latest features without a supersized screen — and there’s nothing like it on Android.

New iPhone 6s ads are all about time

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Aubrey Plaza iPhone 6s ad
Aubrey Plaza is a busy, busy lady.
Photo: Apple (via YouTube)

A couple of new iPhone 6s ads play up the time-saving powers of 3D Touch and the time-travel abilities of Live Photos.

Apple just posted the videos to its YouTube account, and if you’re a fan of the quantifiable measurement of change, you’ll find a lot to like in the 30-second spots. Check them out below.