One of the novel functions Apple contributed to the iPhone 6s to differentiate it from its predecessor was Live Pictures, where every picture you take is effectively a very quick video, catching the motion and noise as the image was taken. The feature is distinct to the 6s as it’s activated by a 3D Touch. Today, we have actually learned a little bit more about the easy yet smart innovation behind it.

As you may currently know, existing iPhones begin taking pictures the minute you open the app. This is how Apple provides the electronic camera with the ability to take photos instantly, with none of the hold-up (‘‘ shutter lag’) you see with some digital cams.

The cam has currently taken and momentarily stored a whole bunch of images, and it simply keeps the last one taken as you press the button and discards the rest …… What Live Photos do is save enough of these before-and-after photos to develop a 1.5-second animation. It’s not video, it’s just efficiently an animated GIF in JPEG format– a similar approach to Motion JPEG. Audio is tape-recorded separately then attached to the animation.

The animations can be set as your iPhone wallpaper. Details of the file format were tweeted by Daniel Matte after speaking with an iPhone product manager, and are consistent with a quick description in Apple’s iOS Developer Library. Apple stated in the keynote that Live Images were really space-efficient, and TechCrunch reports

that Live Photos just take up around twice as much storage area as basic images. This is likely because little will certainly alter between frames, so each subsequent picture file conserves just the distinctions from the previous frame. Exactly what’s your view of Live Photos– a novelty that will rapidly wear away, or a feature you’ll truly appreciate?

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