Live Photos get an upgrade in iOS 11 with new effects, editing tools

Apple’s Live Photos feature is becoming more powerful in iOS 11 with the introduction of a series of new editing tools and effects. In the new software, users will be able to trim their Live Photos and select their thumbnails, as well as apply a variety of effects like loops and long exposures to make their Live Photos more fun and engaging.

As is often the case, Apple appears to have taken inspiration from third-party applications in deciding which features were in demand and should be part of the core experience.

Apple introduced the Live Photos format back in 2015, allowing users to snap still images that animate with a press — sort of like a real-world version of the photographers you’d find in the Harry Potter universe. But sometimes Live Photos needed a little tweaking. For example, sometimes the video recorded needed to be trimmed, or the thumbnail selected wasn’t really the best shot.

Soon, third-party developers heeded the call, and rolled out apps for trimming and transforming Apple’s Live Photos.

But with iOS 11, these sorts of editing tools are now built-in, along with a number of new effects.

Apple has taken obvious inspiration from apps like Instagram’s Boomerang with effects that let you loop a live photo, or “bounce” the image back and forth. In one demo, Apple showed how you could turn a live photo of kids jumping into a pool into a loop where the kids fell into the water, then returned to the pool’s edge over and over.

Apple says it used computer vision techniques for its seamless looping effect.

Another Live Photo effect is called long exposure, and lets you animate a part of an image to give the sense of something that’s been recorded over time. For instance, a photo of a running stream could just feature the water’s movement.

The Live Photos upgrade will roll out in iOS 11.