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Four free Live Photos alternatives that work on any smartphone

Jealous of the new Live Photos feature on the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus? Check out these alternatives that work on older iPhones, Android and Window Phone devices.

Mobile
James Martin/CNET

The iPhone 6S and 6S Plus are both equipped with a 12-megapixel rear camera. It's the first time since the iPhone 4S that Apple has increased the megapixel count, but it's not the only thing that makes the camera special.

The new iPhones also include a feature called Live Photos, which will record action 1.5 seconds before and after a photo is taken and create a GIF-like moving image.

While the Live Photos feature is only available on the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, there are third-party apps that bring similar functionality to older iPhones and even Android and Windows Phone devices. Here are some of our favorites:

Fyuse (Android and iOS)

Fyuse is described as a "spatial photography" app. It lets users capture and share panorama images, selfies and 360 images that will move as you tilt and rotate your phone. Images can also be shared with friends on Facebook and Twitter, or with others inside of the the Fyuse app. CNET editor Sarah Mitroff said Fyuse provided a special experience that was unlike any other photo app out there.

Fyuse is available for free for iPhones and Android devices.

Vine (Android, iOS and Windows Phone)

Vine is a video sharing app and social network owned by Twitter. It lets users record short looping video clips of up to 6 seconds in length. The camera only records while the screen is being touched. This gives you the ability quickly edit videos on the fly, create stop motion effects and visual illusions. Video clips (known as Vines) can be shared with others on Facebook, Twitter or inside of the Vine app, where you can also comment, like and "revine" other clips.

Vine is available for free for iPhones, Windows Phone and Android devices.

Instagram (Android and iOS)

Another option for creating looping videos is by using Instagram, a popular photo sharing app owned by Facebook. The app is similar to Vine, but lets you capture photos in addition to videos of up to 15 seconds in length. There is also the added option of applying filters to your image or video for a unique look. Photos and videos can be shared to Facebook, Twitter or with others inside of the Instagram app.

Instagram is available for free for iPhones and Android devices. Instagram is available for Windows Phone, however it doesn't include the video option. Windows Phone users interested in creating and sharing videos on Instagram should check out 6tag.

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GifBoom (Android and iOS)

Apple's Live Photos feature is similar to an animated GIF (a looping image). There are a ton of apps on Android and iOS that allow you to create a GIF from images in your photo library. My favorite is GifBoom, which lets you create GIFs up to 60 seconds in length from either your camera or photos you have previously taken.

GifBoom is available for free for iPhones and Android devices. As an alternative, I also use Giphy.com, an easy-to-use Web tool that lets you search for and create GIFs. Windows Phone users interested in an app for making GIFs should check out Moquu.

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