Apple Targets Social Media Crowd with New Clips App

Posted March 21, 2017

The new app's square screen view for capturing video looks much like Instagram's starting view.

Apple's newest app is called Clips, and it's a mix of Snapchat and iMovie.

The app also includes a Smart Suggestions feature that uses facial recognition from Photos to suggest who you might be in your videos, and you can share your creations with those people via Messages. It's the Goldilocks of Apple's video editing apps - not too simplistic, but not too complicated, either. It borrows heavily from a broad cross-section of existing third party apps like Snapchat and Instagram, yet it's not tied to a social network of its own. The text appears on screen synced with the user's voice. As Apple describes it: "Live Titles let you easily create animated captions - just by talking as you record".

Clips will be released on the App Store next month, though a limited preview has been released.

Clips didn't perfectly dictate every word I spoke - that said, I'm not always the slowest speaker - but I was able to edit the text to correct mistakes. Apple's track record with creating its own closed social platforms has been mixed at best. Aside from sending photos and videos to your friends via iMessage, you can only save your photos and videos to your camera roll or send them to other apps, like Facebook and Instagram. It's a nice touch, especially when compared with music simply fading out mid-song.

But Apple Music subscribers are out of luck, unfortunately, as the streaming service's deep catalog isn't compatible with Clips. But with its pre-built animations and an easy drag-and-drop timeline, the new app makes vacation/home video creation seem less daunting, and more enjoyable.