Hyperlapse: Instagram’s First Standalone App You’ll Actually Want to Use
Between Facebook’s Slingshot and Instagram’s Bolt, there’s been no shortage of photo-focused standalone apps from Facebook this summer.
But unlike Bolt and Slingshot, which have so far proved underwhelming, Instagram’s latest standalone, Hyperlapse, is simple, elegant and actually really useful. The app, which rolled out Tuesday, allows users to quickly and easily create on-the-go time-lapse videos— something that hasn’t been easily and effectively accomplished on mobile, until now.
“We designed Hyperlapse to be as simple as possible,” Instagram wrote in a blog post introducing their newest offering.
In fact, the app is almost deceptively simple. Record a video, select a playback speed, save and share. No additional editing, tweaking or user account required.
The app launches with the camera, one tap starts the recording and a second stops it. As you record, you’ll see two timers, the first is how long your video is and the second is how long your video will be once it’s compressed into the default 6x playback rate (more on playback speed in a minute).
Swipe right over a recorded video to see a preview of what it would look like without stabilization.
The app’s most powerful feature, image stabilization, is not immediately obvious. Time-lapse videos have traditionally required the camera to remain in a fixed position, which is a lot easier said than done on mobile. But videos shot with Hyperlapse are smoothed out and stabilized so seamlessly you could easily be fooled into thinking you just happened to record with an extra steady hand.
To see just how powerful Hyperlapse’s stabilization is, hold down on the screen after you’ve recorded a video to see a preview of what your video would look like without stabilization.
Choosing a playback speed
Playback speed — which can be set at 1x, 2x, 4x, 6x, 8x, 10x, or 12x — determines how much faster your original video will be played. If you record a 30-second video and select the default 6x speed, for example, the resulting video will be five seconds long.
When choosing a playback speed, you should take into account the length of your original video and how you plan on sharing it. Generally speaking, the longer the original video, the higher you’ll want the playback speed to be.
If you plan on sharing your video to Instagram, keep in mind the platform limits videos to 15 seconds (though you can trim videos created in Hyperlapse within Instagram). This means if you stick with the 6x speed, you can record up to 90 seconds of video, if you choose the fastest 12x speed, you can record up to three minutes of video.
Saving and Sharing
When you’ve finished recording and selected a speed, tapping the green checkmark saves the video to your camera roll. Once saved, you can also share the video to Facebook or Instagram. Unlike Instagram and the recently-updated Vine, you can’t import videos you have already recorded into Hyperlapse. You can, however, record videos and save them to edit and share later.
You can record and save videos to edit and share later with Hyperlapse.
To save a video, tap the red “x” in the top left corner of the app and select “edit later.” Unlike Vine, there is no limit to how many videos you can save, aside from the limits of your device’s storage capacity.
This brings up another important point to keep in mind — HD video uses much more of your device’s storage than photos. Though your video may be compressed to a fraction of it’s original length, Hyperlapse’s videos will still take up more space than photos, particularly if you’re creating time-lapse videos from lengthy clips.
Regardless of how long or expertly-crafted your videos are, having a super simple and easily-Instagrammable tool for time-lapses is a game changer for amateurs and power users alike.
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