Live Photos get a little more social -- will more apps follow soon?
Live Photos are only as good as the apps that work with them.
One of the iPhone 6S' most touted features, Live Photos automatically record GIF-like snippets of audio and video with every photo taken. But there were precious few ways to share Live Photos with others when the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus launched in September -- unless you used iCloud photo sharing with other iPhone users.
Facebook's newest update does exactly what more apps should do: it uploads Live Photos directly, to be shared with anyone...with iOS 9 (support for Mac OS isn't here, yet). But you may not necessarily be able to access the feature yet According to the information released by Apple via Facebook, this Live Photo access will be rolled out slowly, going more global early next year.
Facebook's new iOS app update joins Tumblr as two of the first social apps to support Live Photos. I had a chance to try the update before launch, and it works the way you'd expect: photos play audio and video when tapped. A little concentric circular icon in the corner of the photo indicates that it's a Live Photo -- it's the same icon that appears in the iPhone 6S camera app, but it might not necessarily be recognized by some.
If you don't want to share the Live Photo part and prefer still images only, Facebook will allow that, too. But I wonder how many people will end up being surprised that video moments end up being uploaded to their Facebook stream -- Live Photo has a way of being somewhat stealthy on the new iPhones, unless you remember it's there.
It's great that Live Photos can be shared...but someone needs to focus on ways to make them playable outside of the iOS world, too.