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Hyperlapse Review: Timelapse video at its best

A perfectly formed timelapse app, does exactly what you want it to.

If future historians use the iOS app store of 2014 to draw a picture of the species we were at this moment in time it would see 327 apps for putting fart noises on your mobile telecommunication device, 28 for creating a virtual girlfriend, and just one for preventing you calling your ex after you’ve had too many drinks. They’ll be sat alone at home, marking this as the exact point in time that we turned from an overpopulating group of rampant social bunnies into people who spent our time oversharing details of lives that are increasingly mundane – regardless of what our “fun and flirty” virtual girlfriends tell us. For history in the kingdom of people attached to iPhones, the unstable timelapse video may be the recording method of choice, and if we ignore the lack of logic in having a timelapse video app on your phone, Hyperlapse could well be the app of choice.

Simple instructions come with gorgeous timelapse examples

Simple instructions come with gorgeous timelapse examples

Created by Instagram but with minimal relation to its all conquering square cropped filtered photo app, this app is truly a thing of beauty. It is clean and simple and almost the complete opposite to Instagram. There are minimal options aside from the speed at which you want to create your timelapse and whether you want to shoot portrait or landscape videos.

Indeed, Hyperlapse does exactly what it sets out to do, it’s neither big nor clever, it’s just incredibly straightforward. You open the app, you hit record and then stand incredibly still for the length of time you want to record for. Once you’re done recording, you pick your speed (ranging from actual speed to 12x the speed), save the video and choose to share it or just keep it to yourself.

The claims of stabilizing don't ring true in the finished videos

The claims of stabilizing don’t ring true in the finished videos

It all works as well as it claims but yet within that process are a couple of small issues that effect the user experience. The first is an absolute dearth of sharing options. The limited nature of Instragram sharing options makes this little surprise, but from Instagram they’ve stripped out sharing on Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr, and Foursquare to leave you with only Instagram or Facebook sharing. They may claim that by sharing to Instagram you unlock sharing to the other networks, but just keeping Facebook-owned networks easily accessible is a nasty trick that couldn’t be more obvious unless they allowed you to share your video as a WhatsApp message as well.

The other issues have practical reasons for them. The first is that you cannot close the Hyperlapse app at any time during recording and processing. The issue with this is that by definition, timelapse videos take a long time to record, so it’s not really the most exciting time you’ll spend being stood or sat in the same spot without being able to utilize any of your phone’s other apps.

Easy to share once your timelapse video has been taken

Easy to share once your timelapse video has been taken

The method of recording a timelapse video is the other element that makes Hyperlapse a little hard to use properly. Tripods exist for cameras because humans are unstable. For all of Hyperlapse’s claims that they have “stabilization” nothing that utilizes the entire iPhone’s screen is going to be able to compensate for that. If it had followed its big brother’s square aspect ratio, perhaps there would be some trickery to stabilise the central image, unfortunately though, if you shake, your video shakes – and everybody shakes. But for those flaws, if you want to take timelapse photography on your iPhone, this is undoubtedly the app to do it. It is simple, beautifully designed and works exactly as you expect it to.

Price: Free
Size: 9.4 MB
Version: 1.0.1
Developer: Instagram, Inc.

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