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GoPro QuikStories removes a big video-editing roadblock: You

Hands-on with GoPro's new app feature that transfers shots from your camera to your phone and turns them into polished movies automatically.

GoPro's QuikStories creates instant movies from your clips. 
Screenshot by Josh Goldman/CNET

GoPro just made frictionless video editing with your phone a thing. 

As part of an update to its GoPro (formerly called Capture) and Quik editing apps for iOS and Android available today, the camera maker has introduced QuikStories, a feature that automatically pulls video and photos from a paired Hero5 camera and turns them into a shareable video with customizable music, filters, transitions and effects. 

Quite honestly, with an Android device (I tested it out with a Galaxy S7 Edge), you don't have to do a damn thing beyond the initial pairing with the camera. The app can be set to automatically detect the paired camera, allowing you to shoot and transfer without so much as unlocking your phone. This functionality is apparently the same for the iPhone, but wasn't available in the beta version I tested. If you don't opt for the auto transfers, you can simply launch the GoPro app and pull down on the QuikStories home screen to manually search for a camera to connect with and transfer photos and video from. 

Once your clips are on your phone, the QuikStory is created automatically. I tested a beta version of the app and while there was the occasional glitch, it performed as promised overall. After shooting a bunch of clips, I left my phone next to the camera. The camera sniffed it out in less than 30 seconds and started transferring my shots. I came back a little while later and they were all on my phone and assembled into a draft movie. 


QuikStories can be uploaded as is or edited further with the Quik app.

Screenshot by Josh Goldman/CNET

From there you can pick from different templates with transitions and music and save it. Or you can edit it more on your own by trimming clips, swapping in other music or adding filters. You can then share it, save it or both. Don't want the draft at all? It'll expire and disappear after seven days.

"We realize the consumer, the bulk of our customers, have been dreaming of an experience this simple for years," said GoPro CEO Nick Woodman. "What you'll find with QuikStories is, not only is getting the story easier, but the capture of the experience is easier. You don't need tons of footage, you need 10 seconds here, 30 seconds here, and you'll edit the video as you shoot."

And that's true: After creating my first QuikStory, it was clear that the key to success wasn't leaving the camera capturing everything. Instead you'll find yourself getting short, specific shots as a professional would. Not only does that make for a better final product, short clips make for easy transfers to your phone and will keep you from killing your battery, too. 

Woodman said the QuikStories experience will have users thinking differently about when and how they use a GoPro camera. Where you may have once felt like you had to choose between either using a GoPro or your phone to capture a moment, QuikStories allows the GoPro to be more like an untethered lens for your phone. "Because all that video automatically moves over to your phone, in the end, it's like you captured it with the phone itself," Woodman said, "they work together as a system to enable better story telling." 

QuikStories currently works with only Hero5 Black and Hero5 Session cameras as older models don't have the wireless chops to deliver a good user experience. But Woodman said it will work with all cameras going forward, and not just those built for adventure travel and sports. 

"When we see all the things people are interested in doing, in capturing and sharing," Woodman said, "we see opportunities for new products, new untethered lenses that all offload their footage to the phone." 

Editors' note: This story has been updated to reflect the availability of the auto-transfer capability on iOS devices.