Video editing escapes me. Always has. What do all these frames mean? How do I add mushroom-cloud explosions? Can I replace my paunch with a six-pack in post? Apple Clips is a free new app for iOS designed with the intention of streamlining those and other video-editing doohickeys.
Clips is available on the App Store now, and you can head to the product's official website to get the highlights of how it works. The general idea is to collect fancy editing techniques into a user-friendly interface. "Live Titles let you easily create animated captions and titles — just by talking," per Apple's official description. "Simply speak while recording, and text automatically appears onscreen, perfectly synced with your voice. Choose from different styles and tap any title to adjust text and punctuation."
Hands-on impressions are popping up. While Lifehacker found the UI confusing, Engadget described video creation with Clips as a "cinch." A learning curve is to be expected, but anecdotal evidence suggests that after getting the basics down, even users with little experience using robust video-editing software can produce clips without the barest amount of frills.
Clips looks to be versatile enough to appeal to educators as well users like me who are bound to use it for stupid things like snazzing up video evidence of our next trip through Taco Bell's drive-thru. Educators have published videos showing how Clips can be used to teach foreign languages and vocabulary, and to document a student's science experiments, lending merit to the prospect of teachers adopting the app for use in classrooms. Many schools have already taken the first step of integrating iPads into classrooms—an analog to the widespread usage of Apple IIs in education during the 1980s and '90s—putting Clips and other education-friendly apps at their fingertips.
Those use cases just scratch the surface of what Clips can be used to create. I don't expect Clips to become Steven Spielberg's go-to tool, but, it would be interesting, for instance, to see what an editor versed in powerful software like Adobe Premiere and Apple Final Cut could do with the app.