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April 22, 2017

More Live Photos will be in more places following Apple’s release of the API

by John_A

Apple’s Live Photos will be coming to more apps, thanks to the recent release of the feature’s API. Apple recently shared the code behind the living pictures, allowing third-party developers to integrate them into their apps and websites.

Live Photos launched in 2015 with the release of the iPhone 6S. Live Photos are both a still photo and a video in one format. The file type is shared as a picture, but when the image is tapped, a three-second video plays. That’s because when shooting the live photo, the camera also captures what happens 1.5 seconds before and 1.5 seconds after the image is taken.

While the feature has been around for almost two years, few programs support the upload of Live Photos, leaving fans of the feature with few ways to actually share the photo-and-video-in-one format. Without access to the API code, few have figured out how to enable the feature, although both Tumblr and Facebook already support them.

With the release of the API, developers have access to parts of the Live Photo code, which allows them to support the feature. Once third-party developers integrate the API onto their websites, Live Photo fans will have more places to share their short video clips.

The new Developer Kit will allow app designers to add Live Photos compatibility when crafting applications for iOS, MacOS and tvOS. For web designers, the Java-based LivePhotosKit will allow compatibility with more web applications.

Live Photos is now the default mode on iPhone 6S and later if the feature isn’t switched off, with the same editing options for stills available from Apple’s Photo app. Now, when live images are shared in supported apps, they’ll have the same tap-to-play as they do inside the Apple’s native apps. While it’s unclear which apps will adapt the feature and when, the release of the API makes it easier for more apps to support the feature.

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