Video editing, with transitions and soundtracks on your iPhone for just £2.99.
You've read our iPhone 4 review in which we declared Apple's new smartphone one of the all-time gadget greats, but what of the killer new app for the fourth generation device; the iMovie video editing software?
The new application, available from the App Store for an austerity budget-friendly £2.99, means iPhone users are now able create full video projects complete with pristinely trimmed clips, transitions, themes, subtitles and even a spot of music.
iMovie has long been a stable of Mac OS X, a basic package, suitable for beginners and those just seeking to add a little structure to their home movies. It has never claimed to match the functionality of pro suites like Apple's Final Cut and Adobe's Premiere, but many folks who have now mastered those programs, cut their teeth on iMovie.
iMovie for iPhone 4 video review:
With the Apple iPhone now boasting brilliant quality HD video capture at 720p with decent sound recording, there's never been a better time to bring a video editing package to the device, and the mobile incarnation of iMovie (indeed the first decent video software we've ever seen on a phone) is an absolute belter.
As you'd expect, camera functionality is built-in to the app meaning you can record movies and drop them directly into the touchscreen timeline as well as import pre-recorded movies and photos into your project to create an animated slideshow.
The touchscreen interface is a perfect reproduction of the desktop version and whizzing through screens and adding in effects is ridiculously slick (thanks to the speedy A4 processor) and intutive. Just a simple click on a piece of footgae brings up the video trimming bars (first seen on the iPhone 3GS), which allow you to tailor your clip to the perfect length with great ease.
Between each clip is space for a transition. A double click on the tranition icon allows to scan between nothing, a simple cross disolve or a link dependent on your chosen theme. There are 5 themes to select from (Modern, Bright, Playful, News and Travel) and this choice informs the design of the titles and transitions. Bright and Modern are probably the most functional and least intrusive.
As we mentioned it's as easy to add titles as it is transitions, by double tapping on the clip, and there a range of styles to choose from in each theme, and you can also add a GPS-informed location if you so desire.
Once your movie is done, it can be exported easy to the camera roll in 3 resolutions, maxing out at 720p, and from there it can be easily uploaded to YouTube or emailed as a complete package. Quality does suffer as a result of the compression, but YouTube uploads are relatively rapid and really straightforward.
Despite its brilliant functionality and a tremendously slick and user-friendly interface there's still a few improvements we'd like to see. More video and audio effects and transitions would have been a nice bonus, as well as the ability to position music clips anywhere in the timeline instead of just at the start. We'd have also liked control of the volume as, if you're presenting, it completely overwhelms the voice clip.
Other issues come with the phone itself. It's often difficult to grip the device without covering the microphones, and even more tricky to keep this super slim and lightweight device still when shooting, as you'll see from our video report.
However, as a video journalist, this is perhaps one of the most overwhelming positive reasons to buy a phone. Knowing that in any circumstances, as long as the iPhone 4 is nestling in the back pocket, the tools are available to shoot, edit and post a video of passable quality to the waiting world is a huge comfort.
In a world where web video is often more about getting the footage live, rather than showcasing overwhelmingly high quality footage, this app enables a more happy medium. This app will empower the citizen journalist to new levels and perhaps more importantly, improve the quality of those poorly shot low res YouTube clips beyond recognition.
iMovie for iPhone hasn't had as much publicity as it probably should have because this, along with the 720p video, is perhaps the overriding reason to opt for Apple's new smartphone.