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Product Day 3: iWish iOS iMovie was iMproved

In my class, we are 1:1 with iPads.  Students are creating their project videos on iPads.  iMovie for iOS is a powerful video editing software tool for iOS.  The user interface is very intuitive, but there are still many little features that students and teachers may not be aware of.  It can do a lot, but after working with iMovie on a Mac, the iOS version leaves a lot to be desired.  Students know the difference.

It seems like every time we use iMovie on the iPads, we discover a new way it can't do something that the desktop version can do.  This usually leads to frustration and requires us to find workarounds.

I just thought I'd give a quick tour of iMovie for iOS and highlight some features that are good and frustrating commissions.

Adding Media is Easy

On the right side of the screen, you can see the ability to sort from video, photo, and music libraries to decide what media to add to your project.  When a video is added it is easy to make audio and visual adjustments or trim it.  In addition, the speed of the clip can be adjusted.  Another very helpful feature is being able to detach the audio so it can be edited separately from the video.

Troublesome Titles

 Like the full version of iMovie, titles can be added.  But there are some major issues with the mobile app in my opinion.  The first is that there is only one color option.  These white titles can easily be lost when placed on a video.  In addition, the title can't be outlined for easy visibility.  Also, the title box can't be resized to fit all the text.  Basically the text just keeps getting smaller and smaller as it stretches in a single line across the screen.  Another issue is that there are no blank backgrounds to use for titles.  I've had students simply take pictures of a background to use and it always works well.

Filters Add Quick Personalization

The quickest way for students to add a little personal flair or style is to add a filter to video clips or photos.  There could be more, but changing between filters can be done to add effect and punctuate moments.


Just like videos, adding photos from a library is very easy to do.  In addition, the user can add filters to there.  There is also the traditional iMovie Ken Burn effect that students can use to give motion to their pictures.  There is a problem though.  iMovie automatically stretches any photo to fit the window.  This means that the to and bottom of many pictures will be cut off.  Also, panorama pictures will have their sides cut off to the screens aspect ration.  The solution to this is to crop all pictures to fit the iMovie window or use the Ken Burns effect to pan over the video.

Audio Options

iMovie allows the user to add music and sound effects from a small preloaded library and also from music files in the iPad itself.  One issue we've run into is adding a music track in your video but not at the beginning.  iMovie always puts it up front even if music is not wanted there.  The solution to this is to add music there but turn the volume all the way down.  Then just add the desired music after that (see above).

The ability to use a voice over via the iPad mic is a student favorite feature and it works really well.  After the voice over has been recorded it can be edited and volume can be adjust.

In order to make up for some of what iMovie on iOS lacks, my students have been using Explain Everything to create information rich videos to put into their iMovie.  They've also used Skitch to create annotated photos to include in their video.  Each app has its purpose, but iMovie is the best place to arrange this media into a single whole.  I really wish

I'll be back tomorrow advocating for Explain Everything.

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