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Apple Introduces 'Live Photos': Pictures That Come To Life

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The camera on the iPhone 6s showcases a brand-new feature called "Live Photos." It sounds like video at first — a very short burst of video not that different than a Vine. But Apple's Phil Schiller insisted that this is something brand new.

"What if a photo could be more than a photo?" Schiller asked the audience at Apple's special fall event. "What if you could press on your photo and this happened?"

A still image on the big screen suddenly came to life after being activated with the new "3D Touch" (aka Force Touch) feature, showing about two seconds of moving video from the moment when the photo was taken.

Further Live Photos were shown, and they appeared to be much like still images, in that they never panned or zoomed, they simply stayed in place. But motion is added by "capturing the moment just before and just after." Schiller added that these aren't anything like videos, because they maintain compression standards of photos, yet are captured in 12 megapixels, just like the new iPhone's still images.

Nothing special is required from the user to enable capturing of Live Photos. It's on by default. Audio can be captured as well. Schiller also mentioned that support for Live Photos is coming to Facebook's app, so it's easy to assume other platforms like Instagram will be able to eventually support it as well.

If Apple can live up to this hype – particularly Live Photos not taking up much more storage space than an ordinary photo – this could become one of the iPhone 6s' most popular features.

Check here for more news from Apple's September announcements.

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