Article in App of the Week category.

Lapse Disposable Camera Provides Those Retro Vibes

I’m a sucker for retro gadgets. I’ve got this incredible retro-inspired keyboard, some old Apple gadgets, and I’ve downloaded so many “retro” apps. Lapse is…

I’m a sucker for retro gadgets. I’ve got this incredible retro-inspired keyboard, some old Apple gadgets, and I’ve downloaded so many “retro” apps. Lapse is just the latest that mimics the experience of an old-school disposable camera in a digital interface. Is it annoying at times not being able to see photos right away? Sure! But every other app can do that. The waiting is part of the experience.

When you take a photo in Lapse, your pics need to “develop” over time. The time is random, but usually just later that day. This is the perfect amount of time because it gives you the sense of waiting for film, but not too long that you’ve moved past the experience. I love this bit of mystery with an analog counterpart.

The app has an intuitive interface, mostly mimicking Apple’s own Camera app. There’s a large white shutter button on the bottom with the frame inset from the edges of the display. There’s a slightly fanned set of photo previews in the lower-left corner — same as Apple’s gallery button — to get to the photos you’ve shot. You can move between your phone’s cameras or enable the flash. Other features though, are gone. Again, this is meant to emulate a physical disposable camera which lacks HDR, portrait effects, night modes, and more. You just shoot and hope for the best. Removing these extra features has the secondary effect of keeping you in the moment as you capture it, and not thinking with settings.

As you check out the gallery of your photos, new photos will be blurred and locked until they “develop.” You’ll get a notification when your photos are ready and you can reminisce over your recent events. Lapse also applies a vintage film filter to the photos, one that looks quite good and accurate from what I can remember.

The final piece to the puzzle is the social connection. Lapse says it is for friends, not followers. These photos aren’t meant to win awards for their color accuracy but share your experiences with your friends and not a lot of faceless follower accounts. You too can view your friend’s profiles and see their shots as they develop. It ties people together, makes it easy to share photos between one another, and allows easy reaction with emojis that animate onto the screen.

There isn’t anything particularly hard about this app to create. In fact, I’ve even seen other apps on the App Store that offer similar features. But Lapse does it best, nailing this clean and simple interface with solid photo quality and vintage vibes that will scratch an itch for multiple generations of users.

But enough about other people's apps.

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