Apple’s iMovie has been extremely popular with amateur creators and video editors since the first version was released in 1999. The mac-exclusive program was praised for its simplicity and ease-of-use and was probably a major factor behind Microsoft’s decision to include their Windows Movie Maker software with 2000’s Windows XP.
Despite its widespread popularity among Apple users, iMovie has only received a handful of updates over the years. In many respects this is understandable – iMovie is a free application that is designed with the non-professional in mind, and those with more complex requirements are expected to make the jump to a more advanced editor such as Apple’s own Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premiere.
The Update: iMovie 3.0
The announcement of a new version of iMovie came on April 22nd, 2022, with upgraded software being made available for both OSX and iOS. The new iMovie 3.0 has two new headline features: Storyboards, intended to improve video storytelling, and Magic Movie, which can create videos with minimal user instruction. The user interface has been designed to be familiar to existing users whilst also making it easier than ever to work with stock footage, user albums, and content from multiple devices and sources.
It is to Apple’s credit that they have used the time between releases of iMovie to come up with great ideas to make the software more attractive and useful to its target market. Storyboards is a great example of this, designed to help fledgling content creators and amateur moviemakers learn to structure their video.
The new iMovie includes several pre-made templates for different types of videos including DIY videos, scientific experiments, children’s entertainment, product reviews, workplace training, and more. These supplied storyboards are intended to guide the user on which shots to choose, with step-by-step guidance unique to each of the 20 different video types included.
The storyboards feature is designed to teach users new skills without getting in their way; tips and suggestions are shown whilst the program is saving or otherwise busy with advice on how to make clips more interesting for the target audience of specific templates such as work colleagues, children, and social-media acquaintances.
Finished storyboards can be customized after completion by adding or removing shots and reordering content before being shared through Messages, Mail, or Safari.
Whilst storyboards are intended to help iMovie users stretch themselves and the software to its limits, Magic Movie is very much designed with the more casual end of the user base in mind. If you need to compile a video as quickly as possible, this new feature may just be perfect for the task. With this feature you can create a beautiful custom video from your content with just a few taps, including elements such as titles, transitions, and soundtracks.
Users can select albums and photographs from their devices along with any stock footage and other content they want to include in the new video and the software will inspect the content and pick out the best parts using artificial intelligence algorithms. The resulting footage will then be added to a new project file which creators can add to, edit, rearrange, or delete from. A simplified shot list is included for this purpose to streamline the process, although the full iMovie feature set can be used if you wish.
Users can experiment with multiple styles and presents within the Magic Movie environment. These styles can have a dramatic effect and change the look and feel of the entire video. Just like the videos created using the storyboards functionality, Magic Movie provides an easy means of sharing your finished content through Messages, Mail, or social media.
Should I Upgrade?
The upgraded version of iMovie is a free update for all users of Apple devices, so there seems little reason not to recommend users to upgrade. Existing users will be right at home in the upgraded user interface, with a very short and shallow learning curve. iMovie 3.0 is available now via the App Store for devices running iOS & iPadOS 15.2 or later.