How to use Live Photos to make GIFs, videos and collages like a pro with Alive


The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus brought in one of my favorite Apple features – Live Photos. Live Photos captures 1.5 seconds before and after a photo is taken, creating a short, animated image that can be shared and enabled with 3D Touch. But, in a major oversight (in my humble opinion) from Apple, there isn’t much else you can do with that Live Photo.  

While Live Photos can be viewed on older devices like the iPhone 5s and iPhone 6, the sharing options are pretty disappointing. The most obvious option would be adding the option to export any Live Photo as a GIF or a video file  – but that’s not an option. At least not through Apple.

Instead of Apple really benefiting from the mass proliferation of easily sharable Live Photos, third-party applications like Lively and Alive are filling a Live Photo void that Apple has created. Most of these applications are utilizing the “pay-to-play” mentality, where unlimited use of its feature or disabling annoying branded banners comes at cost. But you can still do enough with the free versions should you choose to save those few dollars. For this piece, we are going to use the “free” app Alive.

Do More with Live Photos with Alive

Download Alive in the App Store. You’ll probably need to type, “Alive Share Live Photos…” in order to weed out all the other similarly named apps.

Alive - Store

Once you have downloaded and opened the Alive app, you’ll need to give it access to your camera. Once that access is given, Alive will automatically import all of your Camera Roll, separating Live Photos, Videos, and All images into tabs that can be accessed at the bottom.

Alive - tabs

Creating a GIF

Alive is very simple to use. So, if you want to turn one of your Live Photos into a GIF you can do so fairly easily. Find a Live Photo in your library that you would like to turn into a GIF. Select the photo and tab on the Share icon to bring up the options menu. Here you’ll see the many ways in which you can share your Live Photo. For GIFs, you can either choose a normal, single GIF or 3 GIFs side-by-side.

After you select your favorite one, hit the share icon again to select how you’d like to send your GIF out. GIFs are great to send via text or share on social media sites and blogs, so this is a very popular option for most people.

Share GIF - Alive

Creating a still image

If you would rather make that Live Photo a still image, you can do so by tapping on the Live Photo icon and removing the video portion of the image. This action cannot be undone.

Remove Live Photo

Creating a video

You can also share a Live Photo as a video if you’d like. Simply select Video Only in the menu and the JPEG portion of your Live Photo will be removed, keeping the .MOV file, thus creating a small, and easily shareable video.

Share Video - Alive

Creating a collage

Creating a collage is actually done automatically. If you select more than one photo, Alive will group those images together regardless of your Live Photo type (Photo, Video, GIF). Simply select multiple photos from your photos section, choose the format, and your images/videos will be grouped together in a nice collage.

Collage - Alive

If you select two, five, or nine images (nine is the max), Alive will stack them in the most effective way, so as to not leave random gaps in your collage.

Collage - More

You will also notice that your shared photos will have an Alive branded banner in the bottom of your GIF, video, or image.

Alive Collage

If you would like to get rid of this banner, and gain the other premium features you can do so in the Settings. Tap on Upgrade to Pro or Hide Branding and you’ll be taken to the buy-page.

Remove Branding - Alive

Let us know what you think of Alive in the comments section. Do you think Apple missed the boat by not adding these type of sharing options on the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus?

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Related Topics: How To, Live Photos, Photography