Use Ap­ple’s iOS video-edit­ing app

Ap­ple Clips is like iMovie meets Snapchat, writes Caitlin McGarry

iPad&iPhone user - - CONTENTS -

It’s easy to com­pare Ap­ple’s new iOS app, Clips, to video-shar­ing so­cial net­works like Snapchat, In­sta­gram, and Face­book. But that’s not ex­actly fair, be­cause Ap­ple’s Clips isn’t so­cial at all – it’s de­signed sim­ply to help you cre­ate and edit fun videos. What you do with them af­ter that is up to you.

This ap­proach makes Clips less anx­i­ety-in­duc­ing. To share a video on In­sta­gram or Snapchat, you’ll want to shoot in In­sta­gram or Snapchat to make sure the mo­ment you’re cap­tur­ing is per­fectly framed. You can shoot in Clips, too, but this feels more like an app you’ll use af­ter the mo­ment has passed to stitch to­gether mem­o­ries and add a sound­track and cap­tions. Clips is way more low-key.

But that doesn’t make it less com­pli­cated to use. In fact, it’s on par with Snapchat when it comes to un­in­tu­itive de­sign, so be pre­pared to spend an ex­or­bi­tant amount of time creat­ing your first clip. (We hope it gets eas­ier the more you use it, but time will tell.) Here’s ev­ery­thing you need to know about us­ing Ap­ple Clips.

How to use Clips

First thing’s first: You need pho­tos and videos to edit, right? Right. You can im­port them from your Cam­era Roll and stitch them to­gether, or you can shoot pho­tos or videos in-app. Pro tip: You can swipe left on the giant red ‘Hold to record’ but­ton if you plan on film­ing for awhile to lock the cam­era in record­ing mode. Just tap the but­ton again when you want to stop shoot­ing. Clips de­faults to the In­sta­gramesque square for­mat, so if you’re

im­port­ing media, make sure it’ll look good square. (Some might mind this, but we don’t.)

From there you can swap videos or pho­tos around in the visual time­line at the bot­tom of the app just by press­ing and mov­ing them. You can also eas­ily trim video clips – just tap on the clip in the time­line and then tap the scis­sor icon to edit the video down to just the sec­onds (or min­utes) you want to in­clude.

Along with a video-trim­ming tool, Clips has all the stan­dard so­cial video-edit­ing fea­tures (fil­ters, emo­jis, and so on.) tucked be­hind icons at the top of the app. Tap­ping the speech bub­ble icon adds cap­tions in real time (more on this in a minute). Eight fil­ters, rang­ing from black and white to my fa­vorite Comic Book, are be­hind the in­ter­lock­ing cir­cles icon. The star is hid­ing the time, your lo­ca­tion, shapes such as cir­cles and arrows, and random words you can edit af­ter adding them to your im­age or video. The ‘T’ icon un­locks ti­tle cards that can help you tell your story – the text on these cards is also ed­itable. The last op­tion, a mu­sic note, is how you add a song from iTunes or an Ap­ple-sup­plied tune to your video.

It takes awhile to get to know the var­i­ous tools and tricks to make Clips work for you, but you’ve got this. And re­mem­ber that creat­ing a clip in Clips doesn’t mean that video goes any­where but your Cam­era Roll. You have to take ex­tra steps to share it with any­one or on any plat­form, which makes it ex­tremely low-pres­sure.

The best Clips fea­tures

Clips has a few fea­tures that set it apart from other videoedit­ing apps, the most notable of which is Live Ti­tles. That’s what Ap­ple calls its real-time cap­tion­ing tool, which

is de­signed to make your video to­tally watch­able with­out sound. This is per­fect for scrolling through Face­book’s auto-play­ing News Feed, but also im­proves ac­ces­si­bil­ity, mak­ing videos easy to watch for view­ers who are deaf or hard of hear­ing. Live Ti­tles sup­ports 36 lan­guages at launch, which is a feat for a brand-new app.

The Live Ti­tles fea­ture doesn’t al­ways nail the speech-to-text trans­la­tion, though. We didn’t ex­pe­ri­ence any cap­tion­ing er­rors in our tests, but if you speak quickly and run your words to­gether, you might con­fuse the al­go­rithm pars­ing your sen­tences. Speak slowly and enun­ci­ate to avoid hav­ing to edit your cap­tions. (We ac­tu­ally didn’t know this was pos­si­ble, but the Wal­lStreet

Jour­nal’s Joanna Stern dis­cov­ered that you can edit a cap­tion by tap­ping on the video clip, then paus­ing the video where the er­ror ap­pears on screen and tap­ping on the text. Yeah, it’s kind of a process.)

But ba­si­cally ev­ery­thing you see on screen is ed­itable, which is in­cred­i­bly use­ful. Every bit of text can be changed and even emo­jis can be eas­ily swapped out by tap­ping on the emoji on-screen and then tap­ping again to ac­cess your emoji key­board.

In your first few hours with Clips, it’ll feel a lit­tle bur­den­some. But once you fig­ure it out, creat­ing so­cial videos with Clips is a cinch.

Time to share

Once your mas­ter­piece is fin­ished, it’s time to share it. Clips uses fa­cial recog­ni­tion to fig­ure out who’s in your video and then sug­gests that you use iMes­sage to send your video to those friends, which is re­ally cool.

You can also share a clip via email or post it to your go-to so­cial net­works, mi­nus Snapchat. Snapchat is not de­signed for shar­ing what’s es­sen­tially a short so­cial movie (not to men­tion the fact that clips are square and snaps are ver­ti­cal). But clips seem tai­lor-made for shar­ing on Face­book in par­tic­u­lar. Imag­ine creat­ing movies of your kids or mak­ing your own DIY Tasty food recipe video with Clips. Post them to your page and watch the likes roll in.

It’s a good thing Ap­ple didn’t try to build a so­cial net­work around Clips (les­son learned from Ping, per­haps). In­stead, Ap­ple is do­ing what it does best: giv­ing cre­ators the tools they need to make good work. Right now, pop­u­lar media tends to be short and share­able. With Clips, maybe you too can snag 15 min­utes – or more likely sec­onds – of vi­ral video fame.

See those icons on top? They un­lock all of your edit­ing tools

Turn on Live Ti­tles as you’re speak­ing to au­to­mat­i­cally trans­late your words to text

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