iMovie 3.0 Automates Social Video Editing on iPhones, iPads

Apple’s iMovie 3.0 includes new features that make it easier for social users to create edited videos on the iPhone and iPad. Magic Movie will instantly generate videos from user-selected clips and photos, automatically adding transitions, effects and music, while Storyboards offer pre-made templates on which to build. The tools are designed to help “aspiring content creators and moviemakers learn to edit and improve their video storytelling skills,” Apple says, explaining that makers of DIY videos, tutorials, product reviews and the like are the targeted audience.

Both new features include a range of Styles to help personalize the final look and feel of a video, including titles, filters, transitions, color palettes and music, all designed to work together.

“iMovie has empowered millions of people around the world to create and share their stories through video,” Apple VP of worldwide product marketing Bob Borchers said in an announcement. “This latest version of iMovie, featuring Storyboards and Magic Movie, simplifies video creation even further, and we think it will continue to inspire the next wave of video creators to dive in and get started.”

Whereas previous versions of iMovie started with a blank slate on which users were to add their own video and photos, “if you’ve never used a video editing app before, starting with a blank canvas can be intimidating,” writes TechCrunch.

Magic Movie helps create custom videos with just a few taps. Users simply select footage, album or group of photos from their library and Magic Movie identifies the best parts of the assets and creates the project — automatically identifying dialog, faces and actions, then stitches it all together with transitions, music and titles.

“This is just a starting point,” notes TechCrunch, adding that “you can still rearrange your movie however you want. For instance, you can move or delete clips, trim some parts and split a clip into two clips.”

Magic Movie is “great for anyone who wants to quickly make a longer-form video out of a set of short video clips and a few photos,” says Macworld, which explains the process in detail. The end result is “a lot of the ‘memories’ that the iOS Photos app automatically builds — those memories also mix video and photo from the same day or event and adds a soundtrack and transitions,” reports Engadget.

Storyboards is slightly more labor intensive but offers more control. Beginning with a choice of 20 different templates designed for end-uses like tutorials, Q&As, news, reviews and more, “each storyboard has a shot list that organizes clips to tell a specific narrative,” Apple explains. “Each placeholder also includes an illustrative thumbnail, along with a tip that asks a question or makes a suggestion for how to shoot that clip to make it more interesting.”

The iMovie 3.0 update is available free on Apple’s App Store for devices running iOS 15.2 or later and iPadOS 15.2 or later.