Hyperlapse from Instagram is a brand new app (Instagram's second standalone app following the release of the Snapchat clone Bolt in July) currently available on iOS devices through the Apple App Store. The mind-bogglingly clever tool allows iPhone and iPad owners to create dynamic time-lapse videos with incredible ease, adding a cinematic quality to even the most amateurish of amateur videos. The app has only been available for just over 24 hours, but it has already shot up the charts, which isn't surprising considering just how unique and impressive it is, not to mention the fact it's completely free! The app works by shooting videos at a lower-frame rate and then playing the videos back at regular speed, thus making events that happened over a long period of time appear to happen in just a few seconds.
“From documenting your whole commute in seconds or the preparation of your dinner from start to finish to capturing an entire sunset as it unfolds, we’re thrilled about the creative possibilities Hyperlapse unlocks. We can’t wait to see what you’ll create.”
For those unfamiliar with the concept of time-lapse photography, it's a popular technique that photographers have been using for years in which images are shot at intervals over a period of time and then sped up to give the impression of time being 'fast-forwarded'. The primary difference between a hyperlapse and conventional time-lapse photography, however, is that the camera itself is moving as the images are being taken, which can result in noticeable camera shake. Hyperlapse deals with this problem by using the iPhone and iPads built-in gyroscope and accelerometer to stabilise videos digitally, and the effect is very smooth indeed.
Hyperlapse in action
The primary focus of the app is on ease of use. An Instagram account is not required to use the app, and there is no login required. Operation could not possibly be more simple; once the app launched you'll be taken to the video camera where you can start and stop recording and save or delete the resulting footage. Adjustments can also be made to shift playback speed from 1x to 12x, and the app allows up to 45 minutes of footage to be shot, which when sped up to 12x would appear to pass in just under 4 minutes!
“You don’t need an account to create a hyperlapse. Instead, you open up straight to the camera. Tap once to begin recording and tap again to stop. Choose a playback speed that you like between 1x-12x and tap the green check mark to save it to your camera roll.”
A spokesman for Instagram admitted that the obvious people they expect to use the app are creatives and photographers, but that doesn't mean casual users won't get a kick out of it. Indeed, it would appear everyone is getting in on the action as the app currently ranks 11th in the UK App Store and 3rd in the US App Store, above even Instagrams's own app! Early reviews are very positive too, with an average rating over 4.5 stars. The app might only currently be available on iOS, but Instagram has said they hope to bring it to Android platforms in the near future.
Benjamin Hiorns is a freelance writer and musician from the UK who has wasted a solid hour playing around with Hyperlapse this morning. So. Much. Fun!