Here's how to (mostly) enable Nokia's 'Living Images' on your PureView Lumia

Nokia's Living Images is a new feature coming to Windows Phone 8.1 and their Lumia Cyan firmware update for the high-end PureView devices, like the Lumia 1020, Lumia 1520, Icon and so forth. Living Images captures a few seconds before you snap a photo, so that when you're browsing through your Camera Roll or StoryTeller, your photos come alive. It's like Cinemagraph, but without having to think, as it just works automatically.

A Nokia Camera Beta update a few weeks ago introduced Living Images, but no one could use it without the Cyan firmware. Even those with a Lumia 630 can't use it as that device is not PureView. But I started getting tips from people who had Living Images enabled, though they didn't know how it happened. Finally, Jason in our comments explained a simple trick to get it working, at least mostly.

Partially enable 'Living Images'

Be forewarned, it's not yet clear how to disable this, once it's enabled. Having said that, there doesn't seem to be any downsides.

  • Open up Nokia Camera Beta or download from the Store here
  • Open the Menu (use the ellipsis '…')
  • Select Settings
  • Choose 'Use default settings'
  • Restart Nokia Camera Beta (may not be necessary)

The next time you snap a photo, you should see 'Saving Living Image' displayed in the upper left corner. When you scroll through your Camera Roll, you should see your Living Image photo, with a second of video before it.

Oddly, this Living Images trick doesn't work with Nokia's StoryTeller, so it appears to be a loophole in the Windows Phone 8.1 Camera Roll.

To see how it works make sure you watch the above video.

Living Image will be more

I should point out that Living Images will be more than what you see now. The Lumia Cyan firmware is needed to unlock the feature, including any advanced editing functions. In that sense, this is more or less a tease of the feature, rather than the function itself. Still, it should give you an idea of what to expect when Lumia Cyan lands on your PureView Lumia phone in the coming weeks.

I think Living Image will be an amazing addition. For one, you don't have to think about using it as it automatically happens when you take a photo. That solves the current problem of having to think out a scene, and then choose the right Lens, and then capture your moment. Living Image gives you a Cinemagraph like function, but with no delay in capturing and no thought. It's pretty brilliant, and I can't wait to see the real thing on my Lumia 1520.

Big thanks to Jason_tee for the tip!

QR: Nokia Camera Beta

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central. He is also the head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007, when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and watches. He has been reviewing laptops since 2015 and is particularly fond of 2-in-1 convertibles, ARM processors, new form factors, and thin-and-light PCs. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.