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Lapse app: what you need to know about the new Instagram killer

Mockuups showing someone holding an iPhone with a screen shot of the Lapse app on the display.
Digital Trends

It seems like new apps don’t create much excitement nowadays, but one app has caught people’s attention recently. It’s called Lapse, and it’s a photo-sharing app that is currently only available through invitation.

The app was created to allow you to share photos with friends, not with followers, in fun new ways. Friends versus followers might seem a bit confusing, but it becomes clearer once you understand how the app operates.

Ready to learn more about Lapse and how it works? Let’s dig in.

What is the Lapse app?

Photos about the Lapse app on the App Store.

If you have ever used a disposable camera, you can better understand the concept of Lapse. This app uses the same idea. When you take a photo within the Lapse app, it takes time to “develop,” just like with disposable cameras. It is noteworthy that the app does not have any filters or editing capabilities, and it is not possible to import existing photos from your phone to send to friends.

This approach of no editing, combined with the aspect of the image “developing,” aims to make sharing more personal. Lapse really differs from Instagram and other photo-sharing apps, and that difference is intentional.

In referencing how other photo-sharing apps work, Lapse explains, “We’ve been so caught up in (the game of getting followers), we forget the real reason we signed up in the first place.”

Lapse is not just a photo-sharing app; it’s also a versatile platform. Apart from sharing photos, you can also create a journal that can be shared with your friends or kept private. Your profile will give you access to all your snaps, allow you to write journal entries, add music from Deezer, and do much more.

With Lapse, you can add existing content from your iPhone Photos app and add selfies to your journal. You can also select up to 36 photos to display on your profile, which will continuously shift on a loop. These loops can be shared via Instagram and Snapchat. You can also create albums that can be shared with others or kept private.

Do you need an invite to join Lapse?

The Lapse app logo.

At present, you need an invitation to join Lapse. You can get an invitation from a friend who is already using the service or send out invitations to your contacts. This requirement is called “early access” by the Lapse team, which suggests the restriction could be removed in the future.

For more information about joining Lapse, download the app and follow the in-app instructions.

Is the Lapse app free?

Marketing images on the App Store concerning the Lapse app.

After receiving an invitation to join Lapse, you can use the app for free without any in-app purchases or advertisements. On the FAQ section of the Lapse website, the company says, “Lapse is totally free. We don’t run ads or sell your data — unlike other platforms.”

It’s always possible that Lapse could start charging for access or introduce a monthly subscription, but for the time being, the app is 100% free to use.

Is the Lapse app available for Android?

Android 14 logo on the Google Pixel 8 Pro.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

The Lapse app is currently only compatible with iPhones and is not yet available for Android devices like the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra or Google Pixel 8 Pro. It’s important to note that any Android developer who claims to offer a Lapse app through the Google Play Store or other platforms is promoting a fake app.

We wouldn’t be surprised if Lapse does eventually create an Android app, but at least right now, you’ll need an iPhone to use the app.

Should you download Lapse?

Lapse app marketing images.

Lapse has received almost 65,000 ratings on the App Store, with an impressive average rating of 4.8 out of 5. Early adopters seem to be delighted with the current state of Lapse and are eagerly anticipating future updates. However, many users find the joining process to be confusing and frustrating.

Some users have also complained about the time photos take to “develop.” Currently, the development time is kept as a closely held secret and deliberately varies, but you should not have to wait for more than a few hours.

It will be interesting to see whether Lapse gains traction and how it fares in the next few months or years. Will it prove successful like Instagram, or will it disappear altogether? Time will tell.

Editors' Recommendations

Bryan M. Wolfe
Bryan M. Wolfe has over a decade of experience as a technology writer. He writes about mobile.
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