Apple’s Clips app is here, and it brings with it the ability to produce full videos by combining short (or long) clips together in a logical way. The idea seems simple on the surface, but the app is deeper than it initially appears. Have a look at our hands-on video walkthrough as we step through Clips’ main features.

Creating a new video

A ‘video’ is the main container that holds all of the clips that comprise the final product at the end of the creative process. Each video must have at least one clip. If you delete all of the clips in a video, the video will disappear. To create a new video, tap the chevron button in the upper left-hand corner, and tap New Video.

How to add clips to a video

The most basic way to add a clip to a video is to press and hold the red Hold To Record button. Doing so will record a clip that will automatically be added to your video. Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg, we’ll discuss how to add different types of clips as well.

Video walkthrough

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How to lock recording

Instead of having to hold the Hold To Record button for the duration of your clip, you can long press and slide left to lock the record button. This is great for setting up your device to frame the perfect shot, or maybe you have your iPhone mounted on a tripod and wish to be in the frame? Locking the record button allows you to continuously record without needing to hold your iPhone.

How to add a photo clip

As previously alluded to, there are different types of clips that can be added to a video, including photos. The Clips app allows you to ‘record’ a photo in order to insert it into your video. Select the Photo option below the viewfinder, and press and hold the record button to begin recording a photo.

The benefit of being able to record a photo is that you can add a voiceover as you record, and can manipulate the photo by zooming and panning. With a little skill, you may be able to pull off a convincing Ken Burns effect by hand.

How to retake a photo clip

A handy retake button appears on the viewfinder after taking a photo. Tap the retake button to take a new photo.

How to add a clip from your photo library

Clips allows users to record photos or videos that reside in personal photo libraries. Tap the Library button below the viewfinder to add a video or photo asset. Like photos, videos too have to be recorded before they show up in your project’s list of clips. If you insert a video, you can set the in point to begin where you want to record, and mute the video’s original audio if you wish to do so.

How to add a Title Card clip

Title Card clips are briefly animated clips featuring editable text. Title Cards can make great beginnings, endings, or interludes for your videos. To add a Title Card, tap the ‘T’ button near the top of the interface.

There are 12 Title Cards to choose from, and each can be previewed by using a 3D Touch gesture on the card you’re interested in using.

How to pan and zoom

Prior to and during recording, it’s possible to zoom on videos and photos. You can use a two-finger pinch gesture or a double tap to quickly zoom in or out. You can also drag assets image assets prior to recording to pan around the frame.

How to add a Live Title

The ability to add Live Titles, text that automatically appears on a clip as you speak, is largely considered to be the headlining feature for the Clips app. To add Live Titles, tap the Caption button at the top of the interface and choose one of the 7 available styles.

Once a Live Title is activated, simply record a clip and speak as you record. You should see your spoken text automatically appear in frame. Be sure to speak clearly and at a moderate pace for the best results.

How to turn off Live Titles

To disable Live Titles, tap the Caption button at the top of the interface, and select the None option in the bottom right-hand corner.

How to add Live Titles in post

If you failed to activate Live Titles during a clip recording, you can still do so in post. Tap the clip at the bottom of the interface to enter edit mode, and tap the Caption button at the top of the screen to select the desired Live Title style. Your dictated text should automatically appear in the frame.

How to edit Live Title text

To edit Live Title text, play back the video clip that features the Live Title, pause the clip, and then tap on the Live Title text. A text editing window will appear that allows you to edit the dictated words.

How to add and change Filters

The Clips app provides 7 different filters to choose from. They are:

  • Noir
  • Instant
  • Transfer
  • Fade
  • Comic Book
  • Ink
  • Chrome

To add a filter to a shot, tap the Filter button that appears next to the Caption button at the top of the Clips interface. You can add filters prior to recording, or in post. You can also change or remove filters on the fly.

How to add and edit Stickers

Next to the Filters button rests the Special Effects button. Tapping a sticker will immediately place it in the frame. You can place multiple stickers on the frame, and rotate, scale, and move them using gestures.

Sticker text can be edited by tapping on the sticker and using the keyboard to edit the text. Once the text is edited tap the Apply button in the upper right-hand corner to save your changes.

How to add and edit any Emoji

If you swipe left on the sticker interface, the most recently used emojis will be revealed. Like stickers, emojis can be rotated, scaled, moved and edited. If you wish to utilize emojis that haven’t been recently used, you can edit the emoji and replace it via the iOS keyboard.

Additional topics covered in our step-by-step video walkthrough:

  • How to mute a clip
  • How to trim a clip
  • How to remove a clip
  • How to rearrange clips
  • How to add soundtracks to a video
  • How to add your own music to a video
  • How to save a clip to your photo library
  • How to export and share a video
  • How to delete a video

What are your thoughts on the new Clips app? I think it’s a surprisingly capable method for creating videos. It has a slight learning curve, but once you master the basic mechanics, it can be a very powerful tool for content creators.

You can download Clips for iPhone and iPad free of charge from the App Store. Be sure to share your thoughts, opinions, and any tips you’d like to share in the comment section below.


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About the Author

Jeff Benjamin

Jeff produces videos, walkthroughs, how-tos, written tutorials and reviews. He takes pride in being able to explain things in a simple, clear and concise manner.