Price: Free/99 cents
First there was Hyperlapse, the Instagram-friendly app that allowed one to make time-lapse (i.e., super-mega-ultra-fast) videos. Now there’s TruSloMo, also tied to Instagram, this one about making super-mega-ultra-slow videos. Slow motion, when done right (“Bonnie and Clyde,” the films of Wong Kar-wai and John Woo, Jean-Luc Godard’s “Slow Motion”), is a beautiful thing; when overdone, as in the “speed ramping” of Zack Snyder (“300”), it can be grating.
But anything is automatically made dramatic when presented super slow, even the most boring activity. So when you’re fiddling with TruSloMo, and the special, once rarified powers it grants you, try to think outside the box. Here are some ways you can mess with it:
Slow down a time-lapse video: Making super-fast videos normal speed is like un-Slinkying a Slinky. But it can be mildly amusing. And it may look weird too: Time-lapse only snaps one frame every so many seconds, so bringing it down a notch may result in some cool visual hiccups.
Shoot something that’s already slow: Filmmakers like Bela Tarr and (sometimes) Gus Van Sant like to let the camera roll as people do laborious things, like endless, quiet walking. Now they can be actually boring (or, perhaps, even more hypnotic).
Capture something painfully mundane: Someone turning their head or getting out of a chair — things no one ever remembers doing after they’ve done them — can look intense when presented in slow motion.
Animals!: If recent history has proven anything, it’s that the greatest source of entertainment are our pets (or at least our anthropomorphizing of same). Capture your cat yawning over the span of several seconds — or, better yet, transform your dog barking into the scariest video to ever creep onto the Internet, as witness below:
Platform:iOS and Android
As you’re probably sick of hearing by now, you’re almost certainly doing sleep wrong. In the good old days (back before electricity, modern medicine and happiness) people didn’t sleep for eight hours; they did 10 or more, with a break in between for light activity, like some of that old time lovin’. We don’t have time for that these days. We maybe snooze six hours, not allowing our bodies to repair all the things we’ve done to it over the day. Poor sleep can even lead to an early death.
You might as well become more aware of how you sleep. Sleep Better is one of the more comprehensive apps, one that makes you cognizant of your terrible sleeping patterns by getting up close and personal. It’s not just an alarm app (though it’s that too). You place it by your head as you sleep and it measures how much time you’re spending in the REM stage – the most replenishing part of your sleep. The app can’t yet get that questionable band that lives above you to quiet down at 3 a.m. on a Monday, but maybe that’s in a coming update.