❤ How to Send Live Photos as Animated GIF from iPhone or iPad

The iPhone and iPad has a little-known capability to convert looping or bouncing Live Photos to animated GIFs natively by sending them through selected sharing methods.

This approach to share a Live Photo as a GIF is great because it basically requires zero effort at all, and it’s certainly easier and faster than using an app to convert Live Photos to GIF.

Read on to learn how you can easily send and share any Live Photos as an animated gif.

To try this yourself, you will need a Live Photo (or several to choose from). You can always take a few Live Photos with your iPhone or iPad camera first.

How to Share a Live Photo as Animated GIF from iPhone or iPad

Assuming you have a Live Photo ready to go, here’s how you can share and send Live Photos as animated GIFs.

  • From the Photos app on iOS, tap and select the Live Photo you want to convert to an animated GIF
  • Swipe Up on the Live Photo to access the additional Live Photo Effects options

  • Choose “Loop” or “Bounce” from the Effects screen, whichever is most appropriate for your photo or the desired GIF repeating effect

  • Now tap the Sharing / Action button as usual (it looks like a box with an arrow flying out of the top)

  • Choose “Mail”

  • Fill out the email as usual, to whoever you want to send the Live Photo as an animated GIF to, then click “Send” *

The Live Photo will automatically convert to an animated GIF so that the recipient can view the image as an animation regardless of what platform they are on. Just be sure you use Live Photo Effects like Bounce or Loop.

This is great because it allows you to send an animated image to someone on a Windows or Android device, or any other platform that doesn’t support Live Photos (which is anything outside of the modern Apple OS ecosystem).

* You can also email yourself the Live Photo if you want to perform a simple Live Photo to animated GIF conversion.

One thing to note however is that the resulting animated GIF files are quite large, despite being a low resolution, as they appear to prioritize a high frame rate. For example, you can easily end up with a 640 x 480 resolution animated GIF converted from a Live Photo that is 6.5 MB, which is much larger than necessary.

The example animated GIF images below were created by Live Photo conversion using this sharing method, and they are quite large in terms of file size at 4.7mb and 6.4mb.

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Perhaps one day iOS will gain a native capability to convert Live Photos into animated GIFs directly from a menu option, but for now that option doesn’t exist. As mentioned above, you can use an app to convert a Live Photo to animated GIF, or you can email yourself the picture and save that which will be an animated GIF. You could also use the Workflow app too, which also lets you convert an Animoji to a GIF as well with a little effort.