eXtensions - Tuesday 27 June 2017
Phoenix Almost Rising from the Ashes: iTimeLapse Pro
By Graham K. Rogers
I found another update quite by chance when I looked at a tweet about the use of AR that is beginning to take off as developers start to play with Apple's ARKit. Two ruler apps appeared and one was from Laan Labs. That rang a bell and I followed the links through. The Laan Brothers had developed a really clever time-lapse app in 2011, iTimeLapse Pro. It was sophisticated for then and had a wide range of settings so (if the device had power) could take a picture once an hour for more than a year. The last update was in 2012 and then no more until this year: there have been 4 or 5 updates since May. I am guessing the change to 64-bit apps has nudged the developer as little appears to have changed within the interface.
I downloaded as soon as I saw this (I did not have to pay again) and tried it out. As far a I remember it still has the same interface and range of options for input, making it easy to set up. It also now takes advantage of new features for export and there are several options here, including to FaceBook and messaging apps. It is perfect for the new Glif Tripod Mount I have, which now makes it so easy to check a device and change to another, which I had to do several times.
Even in 2011, iTimeLapse Pro recorded individual photos and stitched then into a whole feature, depending on number of images (say 1,000, 2,000 or more). It renders all those images into a video which is of course considerably longer. Time between each shot will also affect the number of images, whether the length criterion is time or image numbers. What the user had in terms of output is a more polished result.
Despite the update I am finding iTimeLapse Pro only works in a limited way at the moment and this is really sad. This is a really good app, but it is not doing the job right now. I followed the suggestions of turning on Airplane mode (to avoid spurious input) and plugging in power. I also turned the screen lock to Never, but I could not get past 200 photographs, whether I used a time limit, or a 1500 number limit. Some videos stopped recording long before 200, when I wanted 1500. This was on the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.
The longest video I managed to produce was 23MB, 12 seconds from 189 frames. From what I remember of output when I first used the app in 2011-2012 and from the short experience with this update, I look forward to a fix for this or advice on how to avoid such early cut-off.
I dropped Laan Labs a note, but there has been no response as yet.
Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs. After 3 years writing a column in the Life supplement, he is now no longer associated with the Bangkok Post. He can be followed on Twitter (@extensions_th)
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