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iMovie's Latest Update Will Make Your Movie For You

Apple's latest iMovie trick is creating automatic movies and DIY templates. The update hits today.

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iMovie on iOS now has storyboards and an automatic movie-making feature in version 3.0.
Apple

I shoot a lot of video footage these days, but I don't do a lot of video edits. Apple's latest iMovie update for iOS seems to be speaking to me: iMovie 3.0 introduces new modes that promise to make the video editing process a lot more automatic. And, in one case, it'll do everything for you. Will that make me more likely to use iMovie? I don't know yet. Both new features look like they're trying to make the process of using iMovie less intimidating for infrequent video editors.

Apple first introduced these changes during its recent spring product event where the new iPad Air, iPhone SE and Mac Studio were announced. The two big features, called Magic Movie and Storyboarding, both aim to make video edits easier in pretty spiritually different ways.

Magic Movie does it by automatically compiling a movie out of a bunch of clips, similar to the way Apple automatically makes themed music-montage slideshows in its Photos app. Once made, the automatically generated video edits can be re-edited or tweaked.

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Apple

Storyboarding creates templates guiding various types of video projects, even down to shot types and length of shots. There are a bunch of templates -- even one for "product reviews," which made me raise my eyebrows. While the storyboarding lists might seem restrictive, they can be shuffled up or added to. At first glance, it seems like a video version of how projects can be organized in writing apps such as Scrivener. It actually seems like a helpful addition for someone as scattershot as me.

I still find it strange that Apple also has Clips, another video-editing program that lives parallel to iMovie. It would make sense to merge the two apps, but they remain oddly separate. They keep adding features that make them seem more similar than ever, but they still have pretty different interfaces. Of the two, Clips seems to be more focused on ease of use.

Unfortunately, neither of these new iMovie changes are coming to Apple's Mac version of iMovie. Projects can be exported over, but Apple continues to make its iOS and Mac iMovie apps unique entities. I'll be trying iMovie out soon, but the update's available today. You can run it on iPhones and iPads with the latest version of iOS 15.2 installed.