Video: time-lapse photography in iOS 8

By , Jun 9, 2014

iOS 8 iconThe world’s top camera on Flickr will get a lot better when iOS 8 drops this Fall. As Apple executives outlined during the WWDC keynote talk, the stock Camera application in iOS 8 introduces a new shooting mode: time-lapse photography.

This lets you leave your iPhone automatically taking pictures every few seconds over a predetermined amount of time. iOS 8 then stitches the individual frames together to form gorgeous time-lapse videos.

Time-lapse photography is great for shooting changes that occur over longer periods of time, such as the clouds moving across the sky, skyscrapers being built, blossoming flowers, sunset/sunrise scenes and more. Here’s an example time-lapse video shot using an iPhone 5s running a beta of iOS 8…

Here it is, courtesy of YouTube user ‘iTwe4kz‘:

Quite awesome, no?

Time-lapse mode in iOS 8 is available on iPads, too.

I haven’t had a chance yet to try it on my device, but here’s hoping  it doesn’t require the screen to stay on constantly during the capture. There doesn’t seem to be a way of specifying the capturing interval. Time-lapse videos are saved in your Camera roll in a separate album, like panorama images.

Of course, folks who are jailbroken have enjoyed time-lapse photography for quite some time, thanks to jailbreak tweaks like Cameratweak and Cameratweak HD. If you’re not jailbroken, the App Store offers some nice time-lapse photography apps such as GoPro and Lapse It Pro.

As part of opening up iOS 8 more to developers, Apple is now allowing app makers to use the official SDK to create extensions for editing photos or videos right within the Photos app. These Photo Editing App Extensions will be distributed in the App Store, but as part of the “containing app” rather than standalone.

What’s your go-to app/solution to capture time-lapse videos on your iPhone?

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  • White Michael Jackson

    To be honest, I”m not really impressed with any of the features in iOS 8, I guess I will look forward to the iphone 6, I need to upgrade my phone

    • édith Dupont

      for real ?

    • omrishtam

      the consumer side really wasn’t too impressive, but the developer side is huge.
      all of the developers would be able to extend the system with their apps, imagine the possibilities.

    • ✪ aidan harris ✪
      • Damian

        I think many people agree with this guy. I read similar comments in the last few days.

        However nobody can’t deny great developer support. It looks like Apple wants to take off the burden of developing and put it on actual independent developers

    • Scope

      Don’t think anyone that has used a jailbreak before would ever be impressed by any stock version of iOS unless Apple actually came with an impressive never before seen feature.

      • Damian

        I think Apple could impress the entire world by adding one simple feature and none more.

        Feature would be called Cydia

    • Guest

      bruhhh

    • emayteetee

      Well, not yet. It does have a bunch of awesome features built in it but you’ll see more awesomeness after it’s released because most of it is things devs will be coming up with.

    • Damian

      I think Apple hold off so many feature to be available for iPhone 6. The new iPhone will probably have lots of new stuff we were not shown on WWDC

  • Ricky

    It would be great. But surely a battery hog. I remebered taking a video with my iphone 5 for an hour, not only the battery life is diminished up to 40% but my iphone gets hot too(indoor fully air conditioning)

  • Emil

    You really shouldn’t mislead people with things like ‘The World’s top camera’ That’s some real bs you posted

    • johnnytalks

      Did you really not follow the link to find where they got that information from?

      • Emil

        Of course I did. It would be more appropriate to have said most popular

      • johnnytalks

        Complain a little more.

    • Rowan09

      Might have meant the most used.

    • ✪ aidan harris ✪

      You shouldn’t have stopped reading. Had you carried on reading you’d have noticed the “on Flickr” attached to the words “The world’s top camera”

    • jack

      top camera used on Flickr, moron

  • abdullah575

    not useful at all !!

  • Question?

    How does this work exactly? For example with the clouds, did he actually record for hours and hours?

    • ✪ aidan harris ✪

      I believe the camera works by either sensing movement and recording or recording for so long every couple of minutes…

      • Butch Danes

        It works just like when you’re recording a video except this time it’s taking pictures. Using an intervalometer or whatever built in feature the time-lapse option comes with, the user can set the length of how long they want their time-lapse to be as well as how often a picture is taken. At the end, all the pictures are stitched together to make a video. You would have to take hours and hours worth of pictures just to equal at least a one minute video.

    • Jonathan

      It takes a photo every few seconds, then when the user hits finish, it stitches them together into a video.

  • Brian 

    So basically all it does is record and speed up the video……

    • Nate McKelvie

      It doesn’t actually record a video. It’s not a sped up video at all actually. It’s time lapse, so every so often it takes a photo and then puts all the photos together to make a video

      • Brian 

        Gotcha, it seems pretty smooth almost like a video

      • Nate McKelvie

        It makes the final product into a video. All a video is tons of pictures usually moving 30 frames per second. Time lapse just takes a photo every so many seconds then makes a video out of it

  • Ishaan Malhotra

    These are brilliant. But, are phones meant for these? Its gonna be a really heavy file, will eat a lot of battery, and what if i get a call?

    • Nate McKelvie

      If you get a call I’ve found it stops taking pictures, then as soon as the call is over it goes back to taking pics again and then when your done it will make the time lapse video. ( discovered this completely by accident lol )

  • CPDigitalDarkroom

    Although it’s cool this has been added to the stock camera app, anybody wanting to do serious timelapse with an iPhone would invest in either Filmic Pro or Ultrakam as they provide more controls over exposure, focus, fps, and can even be remotely controlled. Still nice to have in the stock app for quick use.

  • Max Bao

    Time lapse of L.A. traffic: nothing is moving

  • Andrew Roth

    The camera roll doesn’t actually exist any more… at least not for me…

    • Marcus

      Where do all of the photo’s you take go to now?

      • Andrew Roth

        A new album called “Recently Added”. It’s a combo of iCloud and on device. It’s terrible in my opinion.

      • Marcus

        Well I don’t plan on getting the iOS 8 beta, I’ll have to see once it’s officially released. Thanks for the heads up though.

      • Ishaan Malhotra

        True!

  • Joseph A. Ahmad

    The screen does to be on to record, I can confirm that. Recording more ambitious, time-consuming pieces like a sunset will definitely eat that battery right up. Unfortunate, I know.

  • Danial Hakim

    is the slow mo still feature in ios 8?

  • Scope

    You must be using your jailbreak wrong then