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Newly exclusive to iOS 7, iMovie 2.0 is a big leap forward for mobile video editing. Apple nixes the movie theater motif of earlier versions in favor of a more streamlined UI here, making it easier than ever to create slick projects complete with slow motion, titles, and transitions. And unlike earlier versions that sometimes behaved sluggishly, iMovie 2.0 offers 64-bit support for the iPhone 5s and upcoming iPad models, accomplishing every task with breakneck speed. The app even eliminates older pain points with audio: Fade ins and outs are now adjustable, and audio from video clips can now be detached or inserted on its own.
Most of this magic is accomplished with the new Adjustments Bar, which hides at the bottom of the display until needed — particularly welcome on the iPhone. Sadly, some niceties are exclusive to iPad, including the ability to view dynamically updating audio waveforms as volume adjustments are made, perform split edits, or fine-tune transition points. iMovie 2.0 softens the blow of such limitations by allowing iPhone users to quickly rough out an edit, then wirelessly transfer the project to an iPad via AirDrop, where it can be completed with more robust tools. This feature worked like a charm on our iPad mini, and is far easier than transfers done via iTunes File Sharing.
iMovie still doesn’t offer anything in the way of filters or effects, although three new transition options (Slide, Wipe, and Fade through black or white) are welcome additions. The app nicely complements high frame rate (i.e. slow motion) recording on the iPhone 5s, which can be used to record clips inside the app or import them from the Camera Roll.
We had high hopes for iMovie Theater, which saves completed movies to iCloud for viewing on other iOS devices, iMovie 10 for Mac, or Apple TV. Unlike iCloud Photo Sharing, iMovie Theater is limited to available space on your account, so even a few 1080p HD files will quickly hit the ceiling on free 5GB accounts. Worse yet, sharing beyond Facebook, YouTube, or Vimeo is limited to low-resolution email attachments or iMessages, although movies can be saved to the Camera Roll and shared via iCloud Photo Sharing from the Photos app.
On a side note, Apple temporarily removed the ability to edit iMovie for iOS projects with the Mac version, although the company promises that it will return in a future update. For now, however, projects are once again limited strictly to iOS devices.
The bottom line. Although it lacks any fancy filters or effects, iMovie 2.0 is fast, fluid, and one of the best ways to create cool videos on any iOS device.
iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad running iOS 7.0 or later
Fast, fluid editing with newly streamlined UI. More robust audio editing controls. Share projects between iOS devices using AirDrop. 64-bit support.
Still no filters or effects. Some features limited to iPad version. iMovie Theater limited by available iCloud storage space. No direct iCloud Photo Sharing option.