Camera apps

The 8 Best Time-Lapse Camera Apps for iPhone

Time-lapse photography is a nifty technique to make an otherwise dull shot more interesting. A time-lapse video is a series of still images taken at different intervals but played back at the same speed. These snaps can be used to express how beautifully and quickly time flies.

You can create the same effect at home using your smartphone. There’s also no need for expensive equipment or video editing expertise. You can use one or more of the photo editing iPhone apps listed below to take amazing time-lapse photos like a pro.


iMotion has a bit of an old-school interface but is surprisingly powerful for creating time lapses. First, the app lets you shoot 4K video, while other apps lock this functionality behind a paywall. Even the iPhone’s native Camera app only shoots 1080p time-lapse video.

You can use another iPhone on the same Wi-Fi as a remote to capture stills. This is a great feature since image stabilization won’t be affected. Other than that, you can delete individual frames, set time intervals, shoot manually, and change the playback frame rate of the final video.

The free version is impressive and the pro version gives you different manual settings for exposure, focus, white balance, etc.

To download: iMotion (free and premium version available)

7. Camera

The built-in Camera app in iOS is the easiest way to shoot a quick time lapse video on your iPhone. It shoots time lapses at 1-2fps, depending on the length of the video. If you’re shooting less than 10 minutes, your iPhone will capture two frames per second.

The app, by default, deletes half of your footage if you shoot for more than 10 minutes. This means that the longer you shoot, the faster the accelerated video will be.

Accelerated playback on the iPhone is 1080p at 30 fps. So static shots will speed up to 15x. You can reduce the time lapse in the Photos app, but that’s about it.

So while the native iPhone Camera app is great overall, the time-lapse section doesn’t give you a whole lot of control, and you’ll want to use other apps to do that. But if you somehow deleted the default Camera app from your iPhone, you can easily reinstall it from the App Store.

To download: Camera (free)

6. Laps It Pro

Lapse It Pro is an incredibly technical and complex application for time lapse shooting. It has the usual tools, such as setting automatic intervals, stopping at a certain frame boundary, adjusting lighting and focus, and more.

The Pro version of the app is where it gets serious. You can manually adjust exposure, ISO and shutter speed. Plus, you can timelapse in 4K, shoot RAW, adjust depth of field, and more.

Lapse It Pro also lets you import/export clips and save presets for your preferred settings. This app has a lot to explore and is great for fast-paced creative projects.

To download: Lapse It Pro (free and premium version available)

5. OSnap!

OSnap! has many features similar to Lapse It but with a more user-friendly interface. You can shoot time lapses manually or with a timer, but a nice feature is that you can also use the mic. If you put your phone in a stable position and clap your hands, the microphone will pick up that and take the picture.

It works great if you are creating a stop-motion video. You can add or remove individual frames, loop playback, and import/export frames from one project to another.

The only caveat is that the free version has a watermark at the end of the video. Purchasing the paid version removes that, of course. So, it’s worth considering, especially if you like using the app.

To download: OSnap! (Free and premium version available)

4. Splice

Splice is a powerful video editor that’s more than just a time-lapse tool. It offers an easy way to add text to videos and AI-powered text-to-speech for subtitles. Moreover, Splice lets you merge or combine multiple videos with smooth transitions, making it one of the best time-lapse apps.

Although you can simply speed up or slow down the videos to adjust the time-lapse effect, you can also add speed ramps to make the effect smoother. This is also known as the time remapping technique.

Other than that, you can adjust lighting and overall volume, add custom music, and more. However, you will need to subscribe to a premium version to get the most out of it.

To download: Splice (Free, subscription available)

3. FilmoraGo

Just like Splice, FilmoraGo is more of an all-in-one video editor. You can trim clips, merge them or cut them from longer videos. It also features built-in sound effects, layers similar to Premiere Pro, and a large library of royalty-free music.

Although the app does not have a built-in camera, you can import clips to add a time-lapse effect to them. Use the dozens of transition effects to make the time-lapse clip natural and more stabilized.

FilmoraGo is great if you want to add a time-lapse clip to a longer video. The app lets you merge multiple clips seamlessly, making it ideal for creating stunning time lapses.

To download: FilmoraGo (Free, subscription available)

2. Lifetime

Life Lapse stands out from the crowd because it’s one of the few apps that teaches you time-lapse and stop-motion photography. The app has built-in video tutorials that guide you through the features and teach you how to edit better videos.

Moreover, the app also seems more intuitive than the others. For example, you can take multiple photos and automatically stitch them together to create a time-lapse video. With the premium version, you can also use the timer.

Other than that, you can lock exposure and adjust white balance before shooting, and even capture short videos and let the app stitch them together to create an interesting time-lapse video.

To download: Life Lapse (Free, subscription available)

1. Celestial Stream

Skyflow app editor

Skyflow is designed for professionals. Its shooting interface is not far from the screen of a professional camera. You’ll find auto exposure, auto focus, white balance, and other settings all on one screen. The app also shows your remaining battery and tells you what codec and resolution you’re shooting with.

Other advanced features include noise reduction, aggressive low-light boosting, and the ability to shoot with long exposure. The long exposure feature makes it easy to create light trails and add a motion blur effect to your time lapses.

The only problem is that you will need the pro version to export videos at higher resolutions.

To download: Skyflow (free and premium version available)

Create Amazing Accelerated Projects With These Apps

These apps show how smartphone photography has evolved over the years. It’s also interesting to see how each app differs from the other, from the interface to the functionality. This indicates that photography apps are evolving as fast as the cameras in our phones.

You can do so much more with your iPhone. In fact, you might not need dozens of apps. Even the native Camera app has a great selection of features, such as photo styles and built-in camera filters that are readily available at your disposal.