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iMovie for iOS going universal with new features

Jeff Porten | March 3, 2011
Editing movies on the go won't be just for iPhone and iPod touch users anymore.

SAN FRANCISCO, 2 MARCH 2011 - Editing movies on the go won't be just for iPhone and iPod touch users anymore. On Wednesday, Apple announced a new, universal version of iMovie for iOS with full iPad support, which will hit the App Store in time for the camera-equipped iPad 2's March 11 release.

At Wednesday's press event, Steve Jobs brought Randy Ubillos—the company’s chief architect for video applications—on stage to present the newly-renamed iMovie for iOS. In his introduction, Jobs noted “[the app] is not a toy; you can really edit a movie on this thing."

Indeed, iMovie for iOS brings over many advanced features from its Mac sibling, including a Precision Editor, multitrack audio recording, and full HD video support. You can apply transitions and pinch them open to reveal the Precision Editor to make fine edits with tap-and-drag gestures. If you shoot video with an iPad 2, it will appear automatically in iMovie, ready for editing and to include in existing projects.

The app has incorporated a number of multitouch gestures and social media sharing options, as well as three new themes— Neon, Simple, and CNN iReport—for a total of eight. AirPlay support allows you to stream your iMovie videos to a second-generation Apple TV, or you can use Apple's new Digital AV Adapter with iOS 4.3's new mirroring feature to play higher-res versions over HDMI to HDTVs, projectors, and other devices.

Photos can be shot with the iPad 2's built-in cameras or imported from the Photos app, and a Ken-Burns-style panning effect will intelligently keep faces in frame. New to this iPad update is the ability to add graphics and text to photos, with a variety of titles styles available to each theme.

iMovie for iOS offers a lot of audio editing options, an area where Steve Jobs said Apple has had quite a few requests. On the aforementioned multitrack audio recording, iMovie supports three tracks in addition to a background audio track. You can record your own sounds, pick from a library of over 50 sound effects, use the soundtrack included with the theme, or pick a song from your iPod library. You also have a number of options for fine-tuning your audio, including drag-and-drop arranging of clips, per-clip volume adjustment, and the ability to view audio waveforms on the iPad for making more accurate edits.

As for whether iMovie will run on the original iPad, we've received conflicting reports. One Apple representative told Ars Technica's Jacqui Cheng that it will run, but another told our own Jeff Carlson that it won't. We'll dig into the matter and get an update as soon as possible.

iMovie for iOS will be available March 11 in the App Store for $5. It requires an iPad 2 (but might also support the original iPad), iPhone 4, or fourth-generation iPod touch.


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