Apple is releasing an iMovie update for iOS and iPadOS today. iMovie 3.0 introduces two major new features: storyboards and Magic Movie. It’s available as a free download from the App Store for anyone running at least iOS 15.2 or iPadOS 15.2.
With the previous version of iMovie, most people started with a blank project where you could add your own video clips and photos. But if you’ve never used a video editing app before, starting with a blank canvas can be daunting.
Apple adds the ability to create magic movies to start a new project. When you create a Magic Movie, it opens the Photos library. You can open an album, select videos and click next. iMovie then automatically identifies dialogue, people’s faces, actions and more.
Your video sequences are automatically assembled with transitions, music and titles. This is just a starting point because you can always rearrange your movie however you want. For example, you can move or delete clips, cut parts, and split one clip into two clips.
Apple designed 20 different styles so your Magic Movies don’t all look and sound the same. Each style is a package with animations, soundtrack and transitions. When you switch from one style to another, your video is automatically regenerated.
Users can also choose their own soundtrack from purchased music, GarageBand, or any audio file in the Files app. iMovie also lets you add voice to your video.
With Magic Movies, Apple essentially gives you more flexibility to create a movie based on your media library. If you often look at Memories in Photos app and keep thinking “I wish I could edit this auto-generated video”, iMovie won’t let you edit those Memories. But it helps you create a Memories-like video and start editing from there.
Another new feature today is storyboards. iMovie has already helped you create a Hollywood-style movie trailer. Apple expands on this idea and goes beyond movie trailers.
With storyboards, iMovie users can select a template and get a guided method to create videos. Templates include social videos, educational videos, trailers, and product reviews.
Once you select a storyboard, you get a list of shots. You can fill each shot by grabbing a video from your library or shooting new footage. Again, everything is customizable. You can trim a clip, add titles, change the style of titles, etc.
When you’re done with your video, you can save the video to your library, share it as a video file in other apps, or share the iMovie project to another Apple device. For example, you can share a project with a Mac and continue tweaking your video on your Mac.
With this update, Apple no longer adds professional video editing features. Instead, it should be a little easier to open iMovie and get started.