Apple releases iMovie and GarageBand for iPad early

iOS 4.3 launch brings app not due until Friday

The iLife mainstays come to iPad

After giving software update iOS 4.3 a premature birth yesterday, Apple has followed up by outing the hotly anticipated iMovie and GarageBand apps a day before they were set to arrive.

The new movie and music creation tools were met with a great reception at last week's iPad 2 unveiling, but weren't supposed to hit the app store until the new tablet hits the shelves in the US tomorrow.

For GarageBand fans with first gen iPad devices, you can download the app for your device now, but would-be movie editors will have to wait until they get an iPad 2 or just use the updated palm-sized version for the iPhone 4 or iPod touch.

iMovie brings full screen HD video editing to your iPad 2. Features will include a precision editor which allows you to perfectly tailor the video clips using the touchscreen, a multi-track audio editor which means you can bring in tracks from your iTunes library.

There'll also be 50 new sound effects and a range of new themes. The new HDMI adapter will mean you'll be able to play back your movies in HD on your TV set, while the app enables budding videographers to share their work with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and CNN's iReport citizen journalist type channel.

The other big hitter is GarageBand. The wow feature here has to be the on-screen piano which not only allows you to play in all octaves and scales, but is now sensitive to your touch. If you press harder or softer on the keys the output will be different, you know, like an actual piano. There's also drum kits, drum machines, guitars and synthesisers to to assist you with creating your masterpiece on the 8-track recording tool.

They're called "smart instruments" because, according to Apple you don't need to be a musician to play them. If you want to refine your project you can send it to your Mac and continue editing. Very cool.

Both apps are priced at a hugely reasonable £2.99.

Link: App Store