iMovie for iOS: Make home movies on the go

Heath McKnight
1 January, 2013
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With iMovie for iOS on your iPad, you can quickly and easily cut casual videos, spruce them up with themes, mix video with still photos, and add effects, music and cool-looking titles. And it will only cost you $5.49 for the app. Here’s how.


You and your holiday companions are probably shooting photos and videos on different devices – an iPhone, a point-and-shoot camera, a DSLR or an iPad.

The iPad is great as it offers several ways to organise media before editing. Having iCloud activated on your iOS devices lets photos appear immediately in your Photo Stream. With a laptop, you can sync videos via iTunes.

If you didn’t bring a computer on your trip, you can use Apple’s $35 iPad Camera Connection Kit or SD Card Reader to import photos and videos onto your iPad from your camera.

Also, PhotoSync (free from Mac App Store) provides an easy way to wirelessly transfer photos and videos from your iPhone to your iPad. Once you have all the elements in place, you can start putting them together.


Launch the iMovie app on your iPad, press the Plus (+) button, and select New Project or New Trailer. Select a theme under Project Settings (the gear icon in the upper-right corner); iMovie will add related music, loops and transitions.

To edit without a theme, just tap the filmstrip or photo symbol to import your media, or the camera icon to record fresh video from the iPad.

In the Video window, you can adjust the length of your clips by selecting and moving the orange handles. When you’ve finished, tap the blue arrow to send the clip to the timeline.

As you add clips and photos, iMovie automatically adds a dissolve transition.

A precision editor built into iMovie for iOS makes it easy to cut your video accurately. To activate it, pinch vertically upward on the transition point. Pinch vertically downward to close it.

The big picture. The general interface for iMovie in iOS offers plenty of tools for whipping your videos into shape.


To integrate photos into your video, click the picture icon below the window. This lets you pull up images. The default length for a still is 4 seconds; tap the photo and adjust the orange handles out or in to change the length.

iMovie adds a Ken Burns Effect to photos (where it looks like you’re zooming in), but you can tweak it. Tap the photo in the timeline; then tap Start in the Project window and pinch the picture to zoom in. Tap End, and move and zoom the image back out to where you want to finish; tap Done.


Click the music icon to open the audio options window. You can select Theme Music and Sound Effects, or playlists, albums and more from iTunes. Double- tap the clip to bring up Audio Clip Settings.

To add titles, double-tap a video clip or photo to bring up the clip settings dialogue box. Then select Title Style
and choose Opening, Middle or Ending titles. Type the text in the project window.


Go to the marquee screen by tapping the My Projects button (the document icon in the project window). With your project selected, click the right-arrow icon at the bottom to pull up the Share Movie To menu.

From here, you can send your holiday video to CNN iReport, Facebook, iTunes, Vimeo or YouTube.


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