Like it or loathe it, the increased desire to document and share each and every aspect of daily life is here to stay, with Instagram, Hipstamatic and a whole host of photo sharing clones dominating the App Store year after year. As the old saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. But what if you’d like to say just that little bit more?
Enter Lightt, an app which captures normal day-to-day activities via a series of photographs that are then merged together to create a seamless visual timeline of your life. Sound interesting? Hit the jump to find out more!
What is Lightt, Exactly?
Lightt is probably best described as an animated version of Instagram, capturing a series of continuous images rather than a single still. These images are then joined together to form a highlight, which is sort of a cross between a photo, animated GIF and a video. Each highlight is then merged together once more to create a seamless stream of your life, only silent and faster paced.
According to the developer, the app itself was inspired by a popular online video in which artist Jonathan Keller took a photograph of himself every day for eight years, and was designed to capture the simple, brief moments that we often miss.
Sign Me Up!
Upon launching Lightt, your first port of call is to create a new account by completing a short registration form. This is a quick and pain-free process where you will also get the opportunity to record a profile highlight, which is basically a moving avatar of yourself.
Once an account has been created, you are presented with the option to connect via Facebook or Twitter in order to find other Lightt users, or follow a number of featured users as suggested by the app.
Recording a Highlight
Taking a highlight is super easy and merely requires a quick tap of the camera icon located at the bottom of the screen to get started. Compose your shot, and when you’re ready to begin filming, tap the icon once again. This will record a 10-second burst of pictures which can then be added to your own personal stream.
Lightt enables you to record a maximum of 40 highlights in a row to make a single series. However, it is highly recommended to keep each series even shorter as this will make for better viewing.
Edit and Caption
Once a highlight has been recorded, it may be edited by tapping the Edit button. In my opinion, this is where the app could use some improvement as deleting a highlight is the only editing available at present. I’d like to see the option to slice and stitch a highlight, and perhaps the ability to add a filter or adjust the exposure.
When you’ve finished editing, it’s time to caption your highlight and share it with the world unless, of course, you’d prefer to make it private. An option to share with just friends would be a welcome addition here, as I felt a little exposed knowing that every single Lightt user could see my stream unless I made it private.
Captions have a limit of 120 characters, and are displayed in the bottom left-hand corner of each highlight.
In the Blink of an Eye
When viewing your stream, swipe left or right to navigate back and forth, or tap the screen to pause and again to play. Your timeline can be paused at any time to save a still image to your iPhone. Simply tap the Action button and select Save Image to do so. Pressing the Action button will also enable you to share a highlight via Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Email, or delete it from your stream.
Underneath each highlight you will find your username, the date and place where the highlight was recorded, and the option to like or comment on that particular segment.
Every highlight that you take is stored on the Lightt servers and can be accessed at any time on an iOS device or the Web via lightt.com/username.
Connecting With Friends
Visit the main menu and tap Happening Now to view highlights shared by you and the people you follow, automatically merged together as a single stream. Here you are able to like or comment on the highlights of others by tapping the heart or speech bubble icon. This will display a text box, allowing you to write a comment of no more than 140 characters.
Tapping the Featured icon will display featured highlights from that particular day. I found this section to be a little glitchy as it kept pausing itself and cutting to a black screen, refusing to play.
Lightt is novel new way of capturing everyday life that’s both easy to use and a whole lot of fun. Accessing the timelines of other Lightt users makes for interesting viewing, although I do wonder how the app handles inappropriate or offensive content, especially as each highlight doesn’t appear to be vetted before being added to your stream.
A more extensive editing facility would be a welcome addition to Lightt, as would the ability to bookmark your favorite highlights, displaying them in a separate stream. Overall, Lightt is a well-designed app that will appeal to anyone wishing to document their life with something more than just photographs.