How to Edit Live Photos in iOS 11

Apple originally debuted Live Photos in 2015, alongside the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, marking it as a feature that enhances the smartphone's photography with pictures that move when a user performs a 3D Touch on them. With the launch of iOS 11, Live Photos can now be edited in a few useful ways, and this guide will help you make a new key photo (which shows up first in your Photo Album), as well as explain how to add new animation effects to a Live Photo.

To begin, taking a Live Photo hasn't changed with the new iPhone software: simply open your Camera app, tap the circular Live Photos icon at the top center of the screen, and take a picture.

Making a New Key Photo


  1. Open Photos.

  2. Tap the "Albums" tab, then navigate to the Live Photos album to find your image.

  3. Tap "Edit" in the top right corner of the image you select.

  4. At the bottom of the screen, scrub through your Live Photo and find the exact spot you want for a new Key Photo.

  5. Tap "Make Key Photo."

  6. Tap "Done."


Changing a Live Photo Effect


  1. Find the Live Photo you want to edit and select it.

  2. From the center of the screen, swipe up.

  3. Here you'll find three new Live Photo effects.

  4. Choose Loop, Bounce, or Long Exposure.

  5. Swipe down to see the effect in full screen.

Live Photos now have the full suite of editing options previously available to traditional still photos only, including: rotating, cropping, filters, and light and color balancing. You can also choose to mute the Live Photo (volume icon at the top left in edit mode), and automatically enhance it (wand icon at the top right in edit mode). Markup is one editing feature that does not support Live Photos, however.

After you choose a new Key Photo and find a new effect, you can replay your Live Photo like before by performing a 3D Touch action anywhere on the screen of an iPhone 6s device or later.

Related Roundup: iOS 11
Tag: Live Photos

Discuss this article in our forums

Google ‘Motion Stills’ Update Lets Users Customize Default Frame of Live Photos

Last year Google launched an app called Motion Stills that fixed a lot of issues that users had -- and still have -- with Apple's new Live Photos feature introduced in the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. With the new update, Motion Stills now lets users customize the displayed frame that appears automatically in the camera roll of the iOS Photos app.


The intent is to display more clearly what the Live Photo image is composed of, particularly when the frame displaying the content is taken from a blurry or unclear segment of the Live Photo. Now, users can cycle through any frame from a Live Photo in Motion Stills, choose a new image, and export it back out to the iOS Photos app with the new frame. This exporting process keeps the Live Photo in Apple's custom 3D touch looping format and not the GIF format of Motion Stills.

As The Verge pointed out, there is a catch in the basic function of Live Photos that could result in a customized frame appearing lower-resolution in the Photos app.
There is a catch. For space reasons, Live Photos only save the primary frame in full 12-megapixel clarity, with the other frames handled as lower-resolution video; choosing one of these frames will therefore result in a photo with less detail than the original. But since the vast majority of Live Photo viewing probably happens on phones, this may not be a major issue for you.
Other than the new frame feature, Motion Stills as a whole lets users turn Live Photos into easily shareable GIFs. The app also uses Google's video stabilization technology to smooth out jittery images and freeze backgrounds, giving an overall improvement on Apple's basic Live Photos. Motion Stills can be downloaded for free from the iOS App Store. [Direct Link]


Discuss this article in our forums