How To Take iOS-Like Live Photos On Android

The Live Photos feature that Apple debuted alongside the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus may not be the first of its kind – we’ve seen a similar implementation from Microsoft with Nokia Living Images – but with the amount of attention the Cupertino company and its mobile platform receives, it is only natural for the latter’s offerings to be more widely known.

So, we weren’t surprised to see that the team behind Camera MX had decided to mimic Apple’s implementation, integrating what is essentially a more customizable Live Photos-inspired capture mode into their own camera app.

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Labeled Live Shots, the feature was introduced with update v3.4 of Camera MX and differs from its inspiration in a few small ways. For starters, it captures moments leading up to a shot and not both before and after it like Apple’s Live Photos. Additionally, in contrast to the Preceding shots are taken at regular intervals a “Short”, “Normal” or “Long” period (ranging over approximately 8 – 80 seconds) prior to the moment the user hits the capture/shutter button, creating a three-second long MP4 timelapse of sorts that ends with the original shot.

The feature itself can be enabled right from within the viewfinder using the whirlpool toggle in the top bar while users can select one of the aforementioned three background capture periods from within the app’s settings (Settings > Camera > Shoot-The-Past). While within the Camera MX gallery, Live Shots can be caused to animate in an endless loop through a simple tap-and-hold gesture, though the photo and video combination will, of course, appear as separate files within any other galleries or file management apps.

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While the original shot is, by default, taken at the camera’s native resolution, the photos the app constantly captures in the background while it is within the viewfinder are fixed at a 2MP resolution to reduce the size of the resulting file. The largest Live Shot we were able to create – with the Shoot-The-Past option set to Long and preceding shots spread over approximately 78 seconds – was a 7.4MB MP4 of three-second length that became a 3.7MB MP4 looped to become 10 seconds long when we shared it over email.

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Another way Camera MX’s Live Shots one-up Live Photos is that they’re editable. You can select a Live Shot from the gallery, hit the edit icon and select Edit Live Shot to select a starting point for the clip. The same section of the app also lets you save any frame of the sequence as a still photo.

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Editing Live Shots on Camera MX. The handle on the left of the dial can be used to select another starting point for the Live Shot while the right handle can be used to save still shots from the sequence.

Camera MX is available for free on the Google Play Store. You can download it to your device from the link provided below. The Live Shot feature requires Android 4.3 or later.

Download Camera MX for Android