May App Review: Hyperlapse

App: Hyperlapse
Developer: Instagram
Price: Free
Platforms: iOS

I told you we’d get to this eventually!  As promised (midway through my epic-two-part-near-2000-word write up of iCloud Photo Library and Photos for Mac), this week I’m going to do May’s app review.  This month I’ve chosen to review Hyperlapse, a time-lapse video app made by Instagram.


Hyperlapse has a simple, intuitive design.  Open up the app and you’re greeted with only two buttons: record and switch camera (“selfielapse,” they call it).  The rest of the app is equally simple.  After pressing record, you’ll see a timer that shows you how long the video is in normal time, as well as how long the time-lapse will be (based on a speed of 6x).  Ending the recording allows you to chose the speed (any multiple of 2 from 2x to 12x, as well as 1x).  When you’re done, you can save the video to your camera roll, and then share it.  You can also chose to “Edit later,” which adds a third button to the main screen to access your drafts.

But wait a second: doesn’t the stock camera app in iOS already have a time-lapse setting?  It does, and it works fine.  However, there are two reasons why Hyperlapse is better.

First is the variable speed setting.  The stock camera app seems to use a 15x speed setting (although it doesn’t actually tell you what it is), which is really, really fast.  Hyperlapse’s default setting is 6x, which usually looks really good (8x is another good choice).  However, Hyperlapse also gives you the option to go as fast as 12x or as slow as 2x.  I like having this extra control.

The second reason Hyperlapse is better is an interesting one.  Hyperlapse is actually doing image stabilization in real time as you’re recording.  This means that time-lapses (which tend to really show off shaking filming) will look smoother in Hyperlapse.  I don’t know much about photography, but apparently it’s also really impressive that it’s doing this as you film, without requiring any extra processing time.  However, there’s one more reason this feature is super cool.  You can record a video in Hyperlapse, then save it at 1x, and it’s like using a steadicam!  Obviously, it’s not quite as good as a real steadicam, but it can give you a little bit of stabilization with no extra effort – all you have to do is record the video.  Pretty neat!

One more thing: Hyperlapse only saves videos in 720p resolution, and not 1080p.  I’m actually OK with this.  I think that 1080p is a little unnecessary for simple home videos; 720p looks fine and doesn’t take up quite so much space.

As you can see, Hyperlapse is a really cool app.  It’s extremely simple, but it adds just a couple key features that are super useful, not to mention missing in the stock camera app.  Time-lapse is a lot of fun, both to film and to watch, and I highly recommend that you try this app out.  Below is the full Hyperlapse of the fooseball game going on in the screenshots above, saved at 6x speed.  But enough about me – I’d love to see what you make with this app.  Send me a link on Twitter or in the comments below.  Enjoy!  ••

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