Microsoft is fast becoming one of Android’s biggest strengths. It’s already produced a fantastic suite of office apps and a rather impressive Outlook email client, and has now added a potentially revolutionary video app to the mix.
Microsoft Hyperlapse Mobile brings hyperlapse video to Android. This technique first entered the mainstream in 2014 when it was introduced into the iOS version of the Instagram app.
Instagram said hyperlapse wasn’t possible on Android; Microsoft begged to differ.
Hyperlapse Mobile is in beta testing now, and you can try out yourself on ten devices. Read on for the full lowdown on this incredible new app.
What Is Hyperlapse Video?
Hyperlapse is a more advanced take on time-lapse photography.
Time-lapse shoots a series of images at a lower frame rate than normal video, then plays them back at a faster rate than they were shot enabling lengthy sequences — a sunset, for example — to unfold in just a few seconds, with spectacular results.
Hyperlapse takes the idea a step further. It’s designed more for shooting first person videos, so the camera moves with you and the resulting footage is stabilised.
With Microsoft’s approach, stabilisation occurs in the software rather than relying on the phone’s hardware.
The software attempts to identify the trajectory of the camera, and only selects frames that are on that same path, discarding the rest. It then subtly crops in and out in order to keep specific objects in the same position within the frame. As a result, gentle shake from handheld or head mounted cameras is eliminated.
Hyperlapse enables you to channel your inner Martin Scorsese with stunning steadicam-style shots without needing to spend a fortune on specialist gear.
Introducing Microsoft Hyperlapse Mobile
Microsoft Hyperlaspe Mobile brings hyperlapse video to Android devices, as well as Windows Phones and a pro version on Windows desktops.
The app is still only in beta, but it’s already fast and stable, and capable of producing incredible results.
It even surpasses Instagram’s offering on iPhone by being able to work with imported videos. So instead of being limited to using what you’re shooting right now in the app, all your shaky old skiing videos shot on your GoPro can be imported and hyperlapsed. They’ll come out shorter, less shaky and infinitely more watchable.
By default the app is set to create hyperlapse videos at 4x speed, which means that for every four seconds of video you shoot, playback will last one second. You can adjust the speed to anywhere between 1x — real time — and 32x. It’s also possible to save multiple versions of the same video at different speeds.
The videos take a few seconds to process, depending on their size, for both importing and saving, and it’s possible you might hit the memory limitations of your phone if you’re trying to work with very long clips. Fortunately, though, you don’t need any understanding of the technicalities of creating hyperlapse videos, or indeed any videos at all.
In it’s initial form, the app is literally point and shoot, and this simplicity is something that makes it possible for everyone to gain great results instantly.
Showing just how green Microsoft Hyperlapse Mobile is, there are currently no settings options attached to the app’s menu button.
No doubt some will be added in due course, but for now your only choices are whether to use the main or front cameras (which can create a cool SnorriCam effect), and to switch on the video light when you’re shooting in the dark.
Once saved you can share the results with other services, including uploading the clip to your Instagram account.
Alternatives to Microsoft Hyperlapse
Microsoft Hyperlapse Mobile is the first app from a big name developer to bring hyperlapse video to Android.
There are a couple of alternatives, of which Gallus is the best. This free app is also in the relatively early days of development and receives regular updates and new features. It also has a lot more options you can tweak to try and get the best performance from your device.
In our tests the results are mixed, though, and not yet up to the same level that Microsoft’s app is able to reach.
How To Get It
Microsoft Hyperlapse Mobile is currently in beta testing for a limited number of devices. It requires Android 4.4 or above, and works on the following:
- Samsung Galaxy S5, S6, S6 Edge and Note 4
- Google Nexus 5 and Nexus 6
- HTC One M8 and M9
- Sony Xperia Z3
- Google Nexus 9 tablet
You can download it via the Play Store, but won’t be able to find it at this stage through a straight search. To get it, you need to sign up to the app’s community page on Google+, follow the link in that group’s description, and click the Become a Tester button.
Within a few minutes to potentially a couple of hours, the app will become available to you.
As it’s a beta app you can expect frequent updates. These will improve performance, add new features, and occasionally break things, so giving feedback through Google+ is always a good idea to help improve the speed of development.
A Must-Have App
Microsoft Hyperlapse Mobile is still in its early days, and is more of a tech demo than a finished product, yet the technology is already hugely impressive.
It already ranks as one of the best video apps for Android, and it good enough to be used on a daily basis.
While the techniques of creating great hyperlapse videos can take a little time to master — inducing motion sickness in your viewers is a common problem when you move the camera too fast — it’s a lot of fun to use, and can breathe new life into that library of videos you shot and never watched.
Have you tried Microsoft Hyperlapse Mobile? What are your tips for shooting hyperlapse video? Let us know and show us your videos in the comments below.
Explore more about: Smartphone Photography.