iMovie has been available on Mac for quite some time, and you can read a detailed overview of this software’s main features in our notice for iMovie version 10.1.14.
But what happened in the world of Apple video editing software from?
A pending application
The saddest thing is that there isn’t much in fact. We may sound like oldies reminiscing about the good old days, but when iMovie first hit the scene in 1999 (was it really that long?), not only was it pretty groundbreaking, but it received regular annual updates. which added useful new features and capabilities.
What has happened since 2020? Mostly “stability improvements” as the release notes tell us – which means PR talks about bug fixes. Although they are welcome – who doesn’t appreciate more stable software? – they don’t really impress the consumer and the budding video editor.
Now, of course, iMovie hasn’t been paid software for years, and many might argue that a bundled app doesn’t need to be cutting edge, but that ignores the fact that iMovie was years ahead of the competition, even after it started being free. These days, it looks like once innovative software on life support.
Poor new features
Now, all is not gloomy.
iMovie’s developers included a few new features to this venerable application, like five new filters (Comic, Comic Mono, Comic Vintage, Comic Sepia, and Ink) about a year ago, and – brace yourself – sixteen new textures. background a few months later.
It’s worse than scraping the bottom of the barrel, especially since, like all other filters and backgrounds, you can’t really customize them, and we certainly don’t think that would excite anyone when putting upgrade, nor would encourage others to try out this software.
New and more interesting features
If you’re one of the lucky ones working on a new Mac powered by Apple’s own silicon chips, you’ll be glad that version 10.2 brought native compatibility, allowing you to benefit from the speed boost that these new chips offer.
One thing that sets iMovie apart from the competition is its seamless compatibility with its iMovie counterpart for iOS.
So when this mobile app was updated to version 2.3, iMovie for Mac received an upgrade to allow you to import those mobile projects into it, without losing any editing decisions or applied effects (which come with the version 10.2.4).
If your workflow depends on such integration, that was good news (there was a time when the two apps couldn’t talk to each other well – glad the nightmare is over).
Then 10.3 hit the scene about five months ago, and its flagship feature introduced compatibility with the iPhone 13’s Cinematic Mode.
Just like with the recent Apple Final Cut Pro updates, the Inspector now has a new “Kinematics” control, allowing you to control the intensity of the effect. You can also select an object or face in the viewer to set focus on, and focus points can be removed directly from the timeline.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s pretty cool, but it all depends on the images taken by iPhone 13. As you’d expect, other clips can’t take advantage of this feature, which limits the number of consumers who will take advantage of these new editing possibilities.
A new dawn for iMovie?
But maybe there’s hope on the horizon: Apple’s official iMovie page is winning us over with new features.
One of them is Magic Movie. As the name suggests, this is something where iMovie will do the heavy lifting for you.
Simply select media or an entire album from your Photos library, and depending on the promo material, Magic Movie will identify the best snippets of your chosen clips and create a montage for you, complete with titles, transitions, and even music.
There will be twenty different styles to choose from and some easy manual editing options will also be available. A fun feature (which isn’t new and has been available in other editing packages for years), will recompose your chosen music to match the length of your edit.
This all sounds great for people who want to create lasting memories but lack the time to do it themselves, which, let’s face it, most of us are.
Another new addition seems to be lifted from the Trailer feature, which has been around for years. It’s called Storyboarding. It seems to be aimed at helping budding filmmakers improve their filmmaking skills.
You will be offered twenty templates based on genres such as cooking, product reviews, and science experiments. You’ll see a list of shots with examples to help you capture the right kind of footage, and you’ll be guided through story organization and structure.
Considering the fact that iMovie fans haven’t really had a major new feature in years, these two should be pretty cool.
Except there’s a catch.
These may only be available on iMovie for iOS. As Apple’s website states, “Design your masterpiece from scratch or get help shaping your story with the new Magic Movie and Storyboards on iPhone or iPad.”
If so, it will indeed be a huge disappointment for Mac owners. But there’s a glimmer of hope: Apple is committed to having feature parity between its apps across its various platforms, so those might come to the Mac a bit later.
Even with recent updates, iMovie feels like survival software. Nothing happened to excite a novice editor.
Sure, it’s free, but there are free video editors out there that offer a lot more than what iMovie brings to the table.
The best part is probably its ease of use, its integration with iMovie for iOS, and the fact that you can also export your project to Final Cut Pro. But that doesn’t look like much these days.