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Best New Apps: Hyperlapse

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Speed up time with this simple new video app

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Instagram might be best known as an endless stream of pictures of your friends' meals, but its new standalone video app Hyplerlapse aims to change that. It's a dead simple way to create time-lapse videos accompanied by an outstanding built-in image stabilization algorithm that can make shaky videos look steady enough you might think they were filmed with a professional rig. It just takes one tap to start recording, lets you pick your playback speed after, and easily shares your video to Instagram and Facebook.

The easiest way to make a time-lapse on your iPhone

With few controls, the creativity really comes from how you use Hyperlapse. The best ones so far tend to fall into three categories. First is the typical timelapse, where the camera is stationary and lets a subject (or subjects) move around in the scene. Second are the videos that show movement along a path, which is where Hyperlapse's stabilization really shines. These videos, done right, give the viewer the feeling that their zipping through the same scene, or tell a story with a clear beginning and end. The third combines the subject focus with movement, like following a dancing friend through an airport.

Though most of the Hyperlapse videos so far have been shared to Instagram (over 30,000 at the moment), other platforms are filling up with them as well, and each with their own style. The ones being uploaded to Vimeo tend to have multiple clips edited together, often in conjunction with other video apps like Cameo for titles and effects. Facebook is full of brand pages (such as FOX Sports and Sonic) taking advantage of the app to put a new spin on their mobile videos. Typically unfiltered, raw, rectangular Hyperlapse videos are being uploaded to YouTube, laid out both in landscape and portrait modes.

The biggest problem right now (aside from iOS exclusivity) is the poor compression quality of many of the videos, specifically the ones with a lot going on in the frame, but if Instagram has proven anything over the years it's that quality can often take a back seat when it comes to determining what's popular on the social imaging app. Hyperlapse does nothing that other third-party apps haven't tried to do before, but Instagram's simple approach and easy integration have started another craze. Download it for free for iPhone.