Android Python Timelapse

So It’s been a little while since I messed around with android scripting, but I just finished a fun script that someone may find useful. I created a small timelapse script that allows the user to choose the interval and the folder where it will save the pictures (on the sdcard).

Choose the interval to take pictures, in minutes. Default choices are 1, 5, 10, 30, 60 minute intervals, or choose custom and enter your own value

Choose the folder in which to save the pictures

Let it do its thing!

You can grab the file here: or copy and paste the code below:

import android, time, os

droid = android.Android()

def titleAlert():
title = 'Android Python Timelapse'
message = 'Welcome to Android Python Timelapse. In the following dialogs, you will be asked to choose your interval and the location where you would like your pictures saved. Enjoy! Questions or comments? Please send to'
droid.dialogCreateAlert(title, message)
response = droid.dialogGetResponse().result
return response['which'] == 'positive'

def chooseInterval():
title = 'Please choose your picture interval in minutes. To use a different value, choose Custom'
droid.dialogSetItems(['1', '5', '10','30','60','Custom'])
response = droid.dialogGetResponse().result['item']

if response == 0:
timer = 1
elif response == 1:
timer = 5
elif response == 2:
timer = 10
elif response == 3:
timer = 30
elif response == 4:
timer = 60
elif response == 5:
timer = droid.dialogGetInput("please enter your interval in minutes").result
timer = float(timer)
print "interval is: "+str(timer) +" minutes"
return timer

def chooseFolder():
title = 'Please choose where you would like to store your pictures'
captureTime = time.strftime("%Y-%m-%d--%H-%M-%S", time.localtime())
droid.dialogSetItems(['/sdcard/YYYY-MM-DD', '/sdcard/timelapse', 'Custom'])
response = droid.dialogGetResponse().result['item']

if response == 0:
folderStr = captureTime
elif response == 1:
folderStr = "timelapse"
elif response == 2:
folderStr = droid.dialogGetInput("please enter the name of the folder you would like to create: /sdcard/").result

print "folder set to: /sdcard/"+folderStr
return folderStr

def takePics(picfolder="timelapse", lapse=30):
loopvar = 'true'

while loopvar == 'true':
captureTime = time.strftime("%Y-%m-%d--%H-%M-%S", time.localtime())
captureLocation = '/sdcard/'+picFolder+"/"+str(captureTime)+'.jpg'
print "picture taken: "+captureLocation
interval = lapse * 60

lapse = chooseInterval()
picFolder = chooseFolder()
os.system("mkdir /sdcard/"+picFolder)

And here is the video I made after letting the script run for about 4 days. There was some sort of opening ceremony happening by our apartment, but we were out of town for the weekend. Glad I got it all on film! (It’s pretty slow going at the start, skip to about 1:40 where things start to get going)

check out my other SL4A script:

And my new cell stand in the shop!
(you can get it from Ponoko or Etsy from that link as well)

Android Scripting Environment is Incredible: part I


Update As Edward Pain pointed out, the latest version of ASE (soon to be SL4A) changed the TTS and the way that dictionaries are called. I’ve updated this script to take these into account. Thanks Ed!

So I’ve been loving having the DROID around.  I don’t even mind carrying a phone in each pocket because it’s totally worth it.  My most recent obsession is the Android Scripting Environment (ASE)

Basically, it allows you to write code in high-level languages like python, bash, perl, etc, right on the device.  This is when a physical keyboard is really handy.  So I downloaded the app and started messing around with the included python scripts.  I’ve never coded anything in python before, but I have programmed in a bunch of other languages, so it really wasn’t hard at all.  By far the coolest pre-installed script was the Text-To-Speech (TTS) example.  I’m not sure what it is about making computers/devices say funny stuff that makes me laugh so much, but its really fun.

I soon noticed as I was cracking myself up over making the DROID say things like “Then I put my hands up, they’re playing my song” that I’d really like the option to repeat what it just said.  So I decided to code it.  Please be gentle on me; I do not profess to be an expert coder, I just hack stuff together till it works.  Any suggestions would be appreciated.

First thing I did was take the original code and wrap it in a while loop.  This will repeat the phrase as many times as I like, as long as the condition remains true:


"""Speak user generated text."""

__author__ = ‘ Brett Peterson <>’

import android

droid = android.Android()

message = droid.getInput(‘TTS’, ‘What would you like to say?’).result

repeat = droid.getInput(‘repeat’, ‘Repeat? Y/N’).result
while repeat == "y":
repeat = droid.getInput(‘repeat’, ‘Repeat? Y/N’).result


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