The Brilliance Of Live Photos

M.G. Siegler writing on Medium:

Anyone who thinks Apple’s new ‘Live Photos’ element of the iPhone 6s (and 6s Plus) is a gimmick is a fool that doesn’t understand Apple — and may not understand human nature and emotions. I actually think this is one of the more brilliant features Apple has released in a while.

Yes, technically, the feature isn’t really anything new. It’s sort of a cross between a short video and an animated GIF. The “innovation” is in the interaction: the ‘3D Touch’ implementation to trigger the live motion.

You know the scene in almost every movie where a person is looking at an old picture of a loved one when suddenly it triggers their memory of the moment and we’re taken back to a live version of the scene? In a small way, that’s Live Photos. It’s hard to see right now because these iPhones with the functionality are brand new and so the memories are still fresh in our heads. But just imagine what these Live Photos will be like when you look at them in a year? Or ten years? They’ll be memories, captured in time.

Apple, once again, has taken a fairly straightforward technology and created something so much better than what others have done before with the same technology. It’s not just the bits, it’s how you use them. And, more importantly, how you present them.

Yes, anyone could just take a video of their loved ones and it would be an actual live look back into their lives. But most people aren’t very good at taking video. They take footage that’s way too long. Or it’s staged. Or they miss things. With Live Photos, Apple figured out a rather ingenious solution to all of those things in a nice, tight picture package. It’s brilliant.

M.G. nails it.