How to get started with Clips, Apple's mobile video app

Posted At : 14 May 2017

If you were paying close attention, you may have noticed that Apple announced a new mobile video creation app called Clips alongside its quiet launch of the 2017 iPad. What exactly does Clips do, and how does it work? We went hands on to help you get up and running. Adding music Saving & sharing options (L) Text overlay in action (R) Title screen options Filter options The Clips app creates short videos/animations by combining your pictures, videos and captions with text, graphics, filters, emojis and music. If you've ever seen a Snapchat-generated "Story", or any of its numerous recent copycats from the likes of Instagram and Facebook Messenger, Clips videos will look familiar. When it comes to actually creating the stories, however, Clips is more complicated to use than those social media-based options. It's also more powerful: Think of it as Snapchat-meets-iMovie, designed for your mobile device. If you're unfamiliar with either app, prepare for a bit of learning curve with Clips. How to get started To get started, download, install and open the app. (Note: Clips is a strictly mobile app that requires iOS 10.3, so you may need a software update before proceeding). The first time you use it, you'll see a short welcome video. After that, you'll see a capture screen where you can select Photo, Video or Library. This is where you're choosing individual clips that will make up your video project. The Photo option captures still images in-app, while Video records (you guessed it) video. Choose Library to choose content from your camera roll. Capture screen with an image from the camera roll selected After you've selected a photo or video you'd like to use, toggle the microphone option on or off depending on whether or not you'd like to include audio in your recording. When you're ready to add a clip, hold down the "Hold to Record" or "Hold to add this photo" button. Your holding/recording time is equal to playback time. If you'd like a still image to be displayed for five seconds, for example, hold down the recording button for five seconds. Once you've recorded a clip, you'll see it appear in the film strip-like carousel at the bottom of the screen. Now you're ready to add more clips, or add effects like filters, text and music. Voice-to-text-captions The "Speak while recording" feature, represented by the speech bubble icon at the top of the screen, records and transcribes your voice over a clip. It adds your narration to the clip, along with automatically generated captions of what you're saying – Apple calls them "Live Titles". This feature is one of the most unique parts of the app, but it's also one of the most finicky. We had to try it a few times to get it right, and even then, we found that you need to speak slowly and somewhat robotically in order to get the voice transcription to be accurate – and disjointed, unnatural speaking isn't exactly what you'd want in a narration over a video.