iMovie has been available on the Mac for quite some time now and you can read a detailed overview of the key features of this software in our review for iMovie version 10.1.14†
But what happened in Apple’s world? video editing software From that moment on?
An app on hold
The sad thing is, not much really. We may sound like old-timers reminiscing about the good old days, but when iMovie first hit the scene in 1999 (was it really that long ago?), it was not only quite revolutionary, but also received regular annual updates. which has added new useful functions and capabilities.
What has happened since 2020? Mostly ‘stability improvements’ as the release notes tell us – what PR is for bug fixes. As welcome as they are – who doesn’t appreciate a more stable piece of software? – they don’t really impress the consumer and the novice video editor.
Now, of course, iMovie hasn’t been a paid software for years, and many might argue that a bundled app doesn’t have to be on the cutting edge of innovation, but that ignores the fact that iMovie used to be years ahead of the competition, even after being free. started to be. Today it just feels like a once innovative life support software.
Mediocre new features
Now it’s not all doom and gloom.
The developers of iMovie have added a number of new features to this venerable app, such as five new filters (Comic, Comic Mono, Comic Vintage, Comic Sepia, and Ink) about a year ago, and — brace yourself — sixteen new background textures a few months ago. later.
This feels worse than scraping the bottom of the barrel, especially since like all filters and backgrounds you can’t really adjust them, and we certainly don’t think this would excite anyone when upgrading, nor entice others. to try this software out.
More interesting new features
If you’re one of the lucky few working on a new Mac powered by Apple’s proprietary silicon chips, you’ll be pleased that version 10.2 offers native compatibility, allowing you to take advantage of the improved speed boost these new chips offer.
One thing that sets iMovie apart from the competition is its seamless compatibility with its iMovie for iOS counterpart.
So when that mobile app was updated to version 2.3, iMovie for Mac received an upgrade so you can import those mobile projects into it, without losing any editing decisions or applied effects (which came with version 10.2.4).
If your workflow relies on such an integration, this was welcome news (there was a time when both apps couldn’t properly talk to each other – glad that nightmare is over).
Then 10.3 hit the scene about five months ago, and its showpiece was the introduction of compatibility with iPhone 13’s Cinematic mode.
Similar to Apple’s recent Final Cut Pro updates, the Inspector now has a new ‘Cinematic’ control, giving you control over the intensity of the effect. You can also select an object or face in the viewer to focus on, and focus points can be removed directly from the timeline.
Now don’t get us wrong, that’s pretty cool, but it all depends on the footage created by iPhone 13† As you might expect, other clips won’t be able to take advantage of this feature, limiting the number of consumers who will enjoy these new editing capabilities.
A new dawn for iMovie?
But maybe there’s hope on the horizon: Apple’s official iMovie page is exciting us with new features.
One of them is Magic Movie. As the name implies, this is where iMovie will do most of the work for you.
Just select media or an entire album from your Photos library, and based on the promotional material, Magic Movie will identify the best bits of your chosen clips, and will create an edit for you, complete with titles, transitions and even music.
You can choose from twenty different styles and some simplified manual editing options are also available. A nice feature (which is nothing new and has been available in other editing packs 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 don’t have the time to do it themselves, which, let’s face it, most of us are.
Another new addition seems to have been lifted from the Trailer feature, which has been around for years. It’s called Storyboard. This seems to be aimed at helping budding filmmakers improve their filmmaking skills.
You are offered twenty templates based on genres such as Cooking, Product Reviews and Science Experiments. You’ll see a shot list with samples to help you capture the right kind of footage, and you’ll be guided through the organization and story structure.
Considering that iMovie fans haven’t really had a major new feature in years, these two should be pretty cool indeed.
Except there’s a catch.
These may only be available in iMovie for iOS. As Apple’s website says, “Redesign 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 very committed to having feature parity between its apps on its different platforms, so these could come to the Mac a little later.
Even with recent updates, iMovie feels like life support software. Not much has happened to enthuse a budding editor.
Sure, it’s free, but there are free video editors that offer a lot more than what iMovie brings to the table.
The best part is probably the ease of use, the integration with iMovie for iOS, and the fact that you can also export your project to Final Cut Pro. But that doesn’t sound like much these days.