Google Photos adds support for Live Photos on iOS

Google Photos, the service that allows you to back up, organize and search across all your photos and videos, has just rolled out a notable update on iOS. The iPhone and iPad application now supports Live Photos, the animated photo format introduced with iOS 9 and the newer iPhone 6s and 6s Plus devices.

That means you’ll now be able to store, view and organize your Live Photos in the app, even after they’ve been deleted from your Camera Roll on your device.

After your Live Photos have been uploaded to Google Photos on iOS, you’re able to Force Touch on the image (hard press) in order to see them animate, just as you could when viewing them from the native Photo Gallery on iOS.

The images are also designated with the “Live Photo” icon at the top of the screen, so you know they are not just a static image. However, if you download the Live Photo from Google Photos back to your device — such as through iCloud Photo Sharing — it is no longer animated. But  if you save a backed-up Live Photo to the Camera Roll, it should then still be playable (animated) in the Apple Photos app.

Based on quick tests, it appeared that the feature may be retroactive — Live Photos taken last month before the update this afternoon now appear as Live Photos in the Google Photos app. (Google has now confirmed this.)

Google Photos is not the first third-party service to add support for Apple’s specialized image format. Others, including Tumblr and Facebook, also allow users to post and share Live Photos.

In addition to Live Photos, the latest version of the Google Photos iOS app introduces new app navigation that Google says will reduce the time it takes “flipping hamburger menus.” And the app will reduce its cache usage when your iOS device is low on space.

The update is available now on the iTunes App Store.