How to Send iPhone 6s Live Photos as Animated GIFs

Live Photos are extremely fun to capture and share with friends from your iPhone 6s, but unfortunately right now it’s fairly difficult to share these photos with people who don’t own a 6s. That’s because the iPhone 6s is currently the only device capable of taking Live Photos. That should change in the future, but for now we need a solution to the problem of isolation.

Shutterstock Iphone Camera
Put your Live Photos to good use by letting others enjoy them, too | Photo: Oleg GawriloFF/

It turns out, there is a pretty good solution already. That is to just convert your Live Photos into animated GIFs or videos before you want to send them out. Animated GIFs have become forms of expression in recent years on the web. Plus, this way friends can see the animation without technically viewing the actual Live Photo. Two apps in the App Store do this pretty well.

How to Convert Live Photos to Animated GIFs with Lively

Lively is an app you can download for free that can convert live photos to either animated GIFs or videos. The process couldn’t be any simpler. As soon as you launch the app, you’re asked to select from your collection of Live Photos. Pick one and get started.

Lively Live Photo Gif 1
Lively Live Photo Gif 2

If you want to export your Live Photo as a video, all you have to do is tap Export as Video.

Important: Notice that the first three exports are free, but after that the app requires you to pay $1.99 to unlock unlimited exports for the future. If you’re just trying Lively out, tap Free Export.

If you want to export your Live Photo as an animated GIF, tap the GIF tab at the top to switch. Notice at the bottom that you now have a Settings icon because you can customize GIFs. If you tap it, you can choose to play the GIF solely backward, forward and backward in a loop, change the playback speed and change the size of the image. When you have your settings picked, tap Export as GIF.

Lively Live Photo Gif 3
Lively Live Photo Gif 4

You’re taken to a share sheet to share your video or GIF. It’s best to save it to your Photos library first, so that way you have a copy for yourself that you can then share with others.

Tip: The app also supports 3D Touch, so feel free to peek or pop into photos before choosing one. 3D Touch the Home screen icon as well for quick shortcuts to make a GIF or movie from your last saved Live Photo.

Live GIF

Live GIF is an alternative to Lively that pretty much does the exact same thing. Live GIF also allows you to convert the Live Photo to either GIF or video. There are two key differences though. Live GIF doesn’t offer the ability to customize your GIF like Lively does, so you can’t have the animation go backward or faster.

Lively Live Photo Gif 5
Lively Live Photo Gif 6

Additionally, Live GIF isn’t free to download. It’s $1.99 upfront, but after that there are no other payments you have to make. Essentially, for lifetime use, Lively and Live GIF cost the same $1.99.

When you select your Live Photo, just tap Share GIF or Share Video based on your preference to bring up a share sheet. I noticed that Live GIF’s gifs are of lesser quality than Lively’s, but that also comes with the perk of taking up less space,  presumably.

Your Move

In most situations, you’re just better off downloading Lively. If you want small GIFs with no frills, give Live GIF a try instead.

Last updated on 03 February, 2022

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