Create and edit iPad video for free with Pinnacle Studio 2.0

Whether it's vacation video or serious moviemaking, this impressive app gives you the tools to add titles, transitions, music, and more.

Rick Broida Senior Editor
Rick Broida is the author of numerous books and thousands of reviews, features and blog posts. He writes CNET's popular Cheapskate blog and co-hosts Protocol 1: A Travelers Podcast (about the TV show Travelers). He lives in Michigan, where he previously owned two escape rooms (chronicled in the ebook "I Was a Middle-Aged Zombie").
Rick Broida
2 min read
For reasons unknown, Corel made Pinnacle Studio 2.0 for iPad free of charge. No complaints here!
For reasons unknown, Corel made Pinnacle Studio 2.0 for iPad for free. No complaints here! Screenshot by Rick Broida/CNET

Want to edit video on your iPad? Apple's $4.99 iMovie is the go-to choice for most folks. But now there's another option, and it won't cost you a penny.

Pinnacle Studio 2.0 for iPad used to be Avid Studio for iPad, and it used to cost $4.99, same as iMovie. Now owned by Corel, it's now free -- and even better than before.

Pinnacle Studio lets you arrange and edit your photos and videos, ultimately turning disparate elements into a cohesive whole.

If you've ever worked with Pinnacle Studio on your PC, you'll feel right at home with the app's similarly straightforward interface. Though you can work with it in portrait view, landscape offers the better layout, with the top half of the screen devoted to your media and a preview window and the bottom half reserved for storyboarding.

To build a movie, you simply drag a photo, video clip, transition effect, title, or song to the storyboard or timeline, then arrange those elements to your liking.

The app also lets you trim clips, overlay sound effects and voice recordings, add custom pan-and-zoom effects, and so on. It supplies a handful of motion and static titles, but you can edit things like colors, fonts, and sizes to create more-customized text. Unfortunately, I could find no way to overlay a title on a photo or video; it seems you're limited to title cards that bookend them.

When you're done, you can export your movie to Facebook, e-mail, a video file, YouTube, or even Pinnacle Studio for PC. Version 2.0 adds support for Box as well, making it easier to share and save your projects in the cloud. (Personally, I'd prefer Dropbox to Box, but I guess beggars can't be choosers.)

Also new in 2.0: 1080p rendering and output, which was sorely lacking in previous versions.

Pinnacle includes a 56-page user guide that's clear and informative, though it doesn't answer certain questions (like whether you can overlay a title). Although I had a fairly easy time figuring out how to use the app, I was already intimately familiar with Pinnacle Studio for PC. Your mileage may vary.

But make no mistake: Pinnacle Studio 2.0 for iPad offers fairly robust video editing for a price that's impossible to beat. I have no idea why Corel isn't charging for this app (perhaps a future update will offer in-app purchases of things like extra effects), but I'm definitely not complaining.