iPhone App Review: Watch Me Change

iPhone App Review: Watch Me Change

October 8th, 2011 by

While it is certainly possible to do time-lapse photography without the help of a dedicated app, having an app designed to assist you with the timing and lining up of shots is definitely easier. Watch Me Change by MJH Apps is a time-lapse video creator that gives you the tools and guidance needed to help you make successful, high-quality movies.

How It Works

Watch Me Change has four basic tabs on its main interface screen: Photos, My Video, User, and Settings. We’ll actually take them out of order in order to make the use of the app easier to grasp.

First you should create a user, but this doesn’t actually mean what you think it means. It is more helpful to think of the “user” as the subject of the photos, which may or may not be the user of the app. So you might create a “user” in your child’s name, or your own, or your dog’s.

Select the user that you wish to use, then jump over to the Photos tab. There is a large “Take Photo” button at the bottom of the screen where, you guessed, you tap in order to bring up the camera. The camera screen within the app includes a front/rear camera selection, a last photo ghost overlay to help you line up your shot, and a grid on/off button for further assistance. The first time you take a photo for a given user you will have to line up the grid lines to the first photo’s eyes, nose, and mouth, after which the grid will appear to help you line up the shot for future pictures.

The Video tab is where the magic really happens. Select the number of frames per second you like, which affects how fast the pictures move during the movie. Select a video size from three different options up to full HD quality, and even drag a slider to select how many total photos to use from the collection. You can select background music for the video and show a timestamp on each of the photos. There is a logo on/off slider that only works on the unlocked version (available through in-app purchase from the free version).

Pros And Cons

Watch Me Change creates great, high-quality videos from a series of photos, but has a few bugs and warts that need to be worked out. The good news is that while I was using the app to prepare for this review the developers released a new version, which tells me that they are still actively developing this app and hopefully will get around to the issues I’m about to address.

My first issue is just an interface annoyance of mine: from the settings screen you can edit your photo list, allowing you to individually select photos to delete from the user’s collection. That’s great! The developers however have chosen to use the single-item delete icon (red circle with a white line in the middle) as a selection marker, rather than using the Apple standard check-mark within an open circle. It’s a small thing, but the Apple human interface guidelines have conditioned most iPhone users to expect a certain thing from a certain icon. Using what has become a standard icon for a non-standard use causes confusion for your users. Again, not a big deal but just a suggestion.

The main issue with the app I think might boil down to memory management. After using the app throughout the day it would simply stop functioning. It didn’t crash; the interface was still working, including highlighting elements of the interface as I tapped on them, but nothing would actually happen from the tap. It’s like the lights were on but nobody was home. Completely rebooting my device stopped this problem for awhile, but it came back again after a day of using my device for other things. My review unit is an iPhone 4, which for the next few weeks anyway is the fastest small-form iOS device on the market, so hopefully they can iron this issue out soon.

With all of that said, and if you set aside the issue I just outlined above, the app itself works wonderfully. A reminder pops up every day to tell you to take a picture for whatever given user is due to contribute a photo to the collection, so if you shoot a picture of your favorite tomato plant at 9 this morning the app will remind you at 9 every day to take another shot. The resulting videos can be emailed or shared from within the app, or simply saved to the camera roll (enabled from an option in the settings tab). If you take enough pictures over several weeks you can have a really cool music-backed time-lapse video of your favorite photo subject and how they change over the course of time.

You can also of course take pictures more than once per day. Maybe you’re a make-up artist and you snap photos every few minutes as you apply Halloween make-up to your subject? Maybe you’re in construction and want to show a video of a full day of work renovating a bathroom? The possibilities are endless.


Watch Me Change is a brilliant app hiding behind a few annoying bugs. It’s definitely usable in its current state, and at $0.99 is a great bargain for what it does, but I look forward to the future fixes and changes the developers make in later versions. With last-picture overlay and facial gridlines it really makes it easy to match each photo to the last, and produces high-quality videos.

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