iMovie has been around iOS devices for a few years now, but this is the first truly major update it’s received since its debut in 2010. Along with a few additional features, the interface has been radically altered, making it more in line with iOS 7 aesthetics. As this is our first tutorial about this amazing portable video editing app, we’ll take it easy and begin with a new section called ‘Video’.
Step 1 – If this is the first time you’ve launched iMovie, then ‘Video’ is the section that’ll be selected by default. Any video clips stored on your device and which would normally be present in your Photos app, will appear here chronologically, with the more recent ones located at the top. A very faint and thin scroll bar pops up when you swipe up or down on your collection, giving you an idea of where you are. Your clips are divided by the date they were taken, which can also be helpful with navigation
Step 2 – Locate a white triangle pointing down with a number beside it. Depending on your device, and how you hold it, it could either be top right (an iPad in any orientation or an iPhone in landscape), or lower right (an iPhone or iPod touch in portrait). Tap on it to reveal a menu which allows you to sort your clips in a number of ways; ‘Oldest First’ and ‘Newest First’ are self explanatory, but it’s good to know that you can also use these commands to jump back to the top (or bottom) of your clip collection.
Step 3 – The other option lets you choose to see either ‘All’ your clips (the default selection) or solely your favourites. The latter can be highly useful if you take a lot of video with your iOS device. But how do to create favourites in the first place? Click on ‘Done’ and let’s do just that. Tap on a clip to select it and a preview of it will appear just above its thumbnail strip. Now tap on the Heart button to set that entire clip as a favourite.
Step 4 – But there’s no point in selecting an entire three-minute clip if only 10 seconds of it is interesting, so it’s good to know that you can favourite only a specific section. The selected clip is surrounded by a yellow border whose left and right edges are thicker than the rest. Those edges are alterable. Drag them inwards over a specific area then tap on the heart button to select only that section.
Step 5 – Even better, once you’ve favourited a section, you can move those yellow selection handles to another location on the same clip and favourite that bit too. Any clip or part thereof that has been favourited will have a green line across it, making it easy to see at a glance what you’ve favourited and what you haven’t. Go back to that triangular button and this time tap on ‘Favourites’ to just see those clips. If two or more sections of a clip were favourited, they will appear as separate clips here.
Step 6 – In order to play any selected clip in real time, just tap on the preview image’s large ‘play’ button. Tapping anywhere else deselects the clip and dismisses the preview image, so make sure you aim. However, tapping anywhere on the preview image while the clip is playing pauses playback. You can also scrub through your footage by dragging the thin while vertical line, which represents the playhead, that moves along your thumbnail strip.
Step 7 – There’s another way to preview your clips but it’s not immediately obvious if you’re holding your iPhone in portrait. On the iPad, you should see a tortoise and a hare button to the left of the preview image, whether you’re in landscape or portrait, but this option only appears on the iPhone if you hold it in landscape. Those buttons let you slow down or speed up your clip respectively, although this is only for preview purposes and won’t affect the clip when you export it.
Step 8 – You can use iMovie’s video section to preview clip prior to adding them into a project. Once you’ve selected a section (no need to favourite it first), tap on the ‘Share’ button (the rectangle with a narrow coming out of it) and select ‘Create Movie’. You’ll then be given the option to create a new film or add your selection to one of your existing projects. If you choose the latter, that new clip will be added wherever the playhead was placed in your project, not necessarily at the start or end of your project.
Step 9 – Of course, the ‘Video’ section allows you to bypass the movie creation process entirely and lets you share clips, or a portion thereof, immediately to video sharing sites. Tap on the ‘Share’ button again and see that you can export your clip to Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo and CNN iReport. If this is the first time you’ve done this, you’ll have to sign in to the selected service. All you need to do next is add a title and a description and you’re good to go.
Step 10 – But there’s another option open to you, a new one called ‘iMovie Theatre’. This allows you to save your clip or the selected segment, to iCloud where you can share it instantly to all your compatible devices, including your Apple TV. This means that even though Photo Stream still only easily syncs photos, you can use iMovie Theatre to transfer clips to your other devices effortlessly. Once transferred, select the clip and choose ‘Save Video’ from its ‘Share’ button to save it to the Camera Roll.