Clips App Review Roundup: Fun Editing Features in Questionable UI

Today, Apple launched its newest app: Clips. It’s a quick video editing and sharing app, and the reviews are in.

A variety of different publications were able to get their hands on the new app ahead of its launch, giving it a quick look-over. The general consensus through the reviews is that Clips is indeed fun to use, and there are some great editing options. Sharing is simple, too, even if some of the features baked into Clip might have similar ones in other apps. But the main hang-up for some folks is the questionable user interface.

So, here’s the roundup:

    The Verge

    “Instead, it’s a video-making app that borrows some features from other apps. It’s an app that requires some thought and a little more work than a Snap or tweet or ‘gram does. These days, it’s possible to use those apps in public and with friends in a way that doesn’t feel terribly rude, whether it’s because everyone else is doing it or because the point is to share something quick and raw. With Clips, prepare to spend at least a few minutes making something share-worthy.

    But that’s not a bad thing: it’s a distinctly Apple-like approach to mobile video. Parts of the app are also really fun to use. There’s at least one element of the app that feels like it could use a whole redesign, and the question still remains as to whether this app is one that iPhone (and iPad) users will feel compelled to use before they use their favorite social apps. But overall, this is a kind of next-generation iMovie that I’m willing to bet a healthy portion of Apple’s user base will be happy to use.”


    “There are other spots where workflow breaks down a little bit. Despite being able to drag clips around a project’s timeline, there’s no way to drag it into another project. Instead, you have to save that clip to your Camera Roll and then re-add it to the other project. In the process, you’ll lose any of your live subtitles. You’ll also have to hold down the record button for the full duration to add those clips, which can be tedious. (It allows you record new audio over the track that was already there, which is nice I guess, but sometimes you just want to plop a clip into place.) I get Apple wanted to use that big red button everywhere for consistency, but I sometimes wondered if the designers didn’t make things a little obtuse in their search for simplicity.”


    “Auto-captioning can be added to any video segment, but it’s done by transcribing what you speak while recording a clip. It may sound confusing, but it works brilliantly. A secondary audio track is added, which is separate from the original video’s audio. Selecting Live Titles (a text-bubble-type icon on the top of the screen) turns what you’ve spoken into on-screen text that pops up to time perfectly with when you’ve said it. Then, that new audio track can be muted by tapping the speaker icon and “muting recorded audio.” Now, the titles appear without my voice. But the transcription doesn’t happen without cellular or Wi-Fi.”


    “In its present offering, the filters feel a bit limited, with only eight in all. And certainly they’re a ways from the intricacy of augmented reality offerings from the likes of Snapchat. The current Clips offerings build upon Apple’s existing photo filters and add a few new novel selections, like Comic Book, which does a good job turning live video into a pulp-like image. The offerings are still pretty limited on the filter front, but Apple will no doubt be adding to them soon.”

All-in-all, it sounds like Clips is a solid app in its own right, with plenty to offer, and a bright future ahead of it. Apple may change a few things along the way, especially to the UI, tweaking the overall experience, but it sounds like that would be for the best.