Remember those Charlie Chaplin films /where at times everything seemed to happen at the rate of knots? Well, Instagram’s new app, Hyperlapse, lets you do something similar, with minimum fuss. Yes, we could get into explanations of what hyperlapse videos are, how they are different from timelapse and so on, but we will keep things very simple. As simple as the app itself, in fact (appropriate!).

Hyperlapse is an app which lets you shoot videos in a normal manner and then, well, speeds them up. The result? What would seem like a routine crossing of the road suddenly looks like a frenzied dash. Cars that were moving cautiously at a traffic signal seem to fly past like something on a Formula One track. Sounds insane? Well, that’s what time lapse videos are about – they just seem to make things happen very fast.


So what is so special about Hyperlapse? Well, mainly that it makes shooting time lapse videos so darned easy. You just have to launch the app, shoot the video and then sit back and watch what seemed like a normal day in your life turn into frenzied, hectic activity. The app very helpfully also lets you see not just how many seconds of video you have shot but also how many second of time lapse video it would generate – this is by default a 6:1 ratio. So if you shoot video for a minute, you will get a frenzied ten-second time lapse video, and so on. By default, the app speeds up videos six times, but you can tweak this – other options include 2x, 4x, 8x, 10x and 12x. Remember, the faster you make the video move, the smaller video you will have. So a 12 second video will barely be a one second affair if pulled up to 12x speed.

That is the only tweaking you can do in the video in the app, incidentally. Once you have finished, you can either choose to save the video in the app itself for tweaking later, delete it or simply save it in the Photo gallery of the iPhone (where it will be saved under videos) and/or share it on Facebook and Instagram. Yes, those are the only two sharing options at the moment from the app itself, although you do have the option of setting a speed of your liking and saving the video in your photo gallery and from there sharing it to whichever social network you like. In Instagram, you can play around with the default filters to add a slightly retro touch to your video.

And that really is it. Like Instagram, Hyperlapse’s biggest charm is its simplicity. The app worked smoothly on our iPhone and made the whole process of capturing videos very easy indeed – small shakes were cancelled out almost magically.

Yes, you will need to keep your hands relatively steady and well, we would recommend not moving your iPhone around too much for best results, but even half a minute’s video of something as routine as stirring a cup of tea suddenly acquires a magical aura of its own.

Which is why Hyperlapse has got to be one of the most “fun” video apps we have ever used. Yes, to the hardcore “productive” crowd that bends over its cameras in the expectation of capturing a rare Siberian bird in full flight over the Patagonian desert, it is nothing but frivolous. After all, it has no advanced editing options! But for the layperson, it is a truckload of fun. It lets you shoot perfectly routine videos that will have you rolling around with laughter when ‘Hyperlapsed.’ And for us, that counts for a whole lot. If you have an iPhone, you simply have NO excuse not to download this. Just make sure you don’t end up using all your storage space to accommodate Chaplinsque videos. If Instagram made retro shoots cool, Hyperlapse could do the same to time lapse videos, yanking them right out of uber geek territory and making them mainstream. Which we think is always awesome as there is no technology like mainstream technology. Now just make it for Android too, Instagram (it is currently iOS only, alas)!

Available from: iTunes App Store
Price: Free

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Nimish Dubey has been writing for more than a decade now (well, Windows 3.1 was around and Apple was on the verge of being finished when he started). He has been published in a number of publications including The Times of India, Mint, The Economic Times, Mid-Day and Femina on subjects that vary from tech write -ups to book reviews to music album round ups. He managed to interview Michael Schumacher once and write two books for young adults along the way.