Instagram adds wide color gamut, Live Photos support to iOS app

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Instagram on Thursday updated made good on promises to incorporate wide color gamut support for iPhone 7 owners in a backend software update that also includes compatibility with Apple's Live Photos.

Announced in a pair of tweets by Instagram cofounder Mike Krieger, the new features do not require an app update and are rolling out to end users today.

Wide color gamut support was initially promised last year when Instagram's head of design, Ian Spalter, debuted a completely revamped version of the photo sharing app onstage at the iPhone 7 unveiling in September. The backend update rolling out today allows iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus to both capture and display wide color images.

In addition to enhanced color imagery, Instagram is working to bake in support for Live Photos, an iOS feature introduced alongside iPhone 6s in 2015. Users can upload Live Photos as Boomerangs — an animated GIF that loops forward and backward on repeat — and insert them directly into Instagram Stories. Like Apple's native Photos app, Live Photos on Instagram Stories plays nice with 3D Touch.

The Facebook-owned image sharing platform is constantly refreshing its app to include new functionality, though recent updates have been fast and furious as the company attempts to keep up with offerings from segment competitor Snap.

While wide color gamut and Live Photos integration are welcome additions to Instagram's standalone app, the firm has yet to implement support for iPhone 7 Plus' "telephoto" lens. The 2X optical zoom interface was supposed to ship with a stripped down UI last year.