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Tech Trends: Snapchat For Grownups

Apple’s new Clips app for iOS allows businesses and individuals to add a dash of polish to their social videos

Photo Credit : Shutterstock

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When it first launched on the App Store, I wasn’t sure what to make of Apple’s new Clips app for iOS. I mean, was this Apple’s play at the video recording and sharing market, a rival of sorts to Snapchat and Facebook with its visual and text effects? Or was this an iMovie-esque app for doing quick-and-dirty video editing on the go?

It’s a bit of both, really. Think of it as the iMovie video editing app reimagined for social, making it far more accessible and enjoyable to normal folks but without the baggage of a social network… you know, where you must instantly share your creation to give it a sense of purpose. You use the app to shoot new videos from within the app or pull videos in from your existing iPhone library, add text, filters, emoji and overlays and even music from your iTunes library or a curated library of instrumental music. If a lot of that sounds familiar, it’s because a lot of these features exist across Instagram Stories, Vine, Prisma and Snapchat.

Yet, Clips is far from a clone in a number of interesting, very Apple-y ways. For instance, like any self-respecting video editing app, at the very bottom of the screen there’s a timeline, which encourages you to string together a bunch of clips to make a video that can run up to 60 minutes long — no arbitrarily short time restrictions. You can then save and share your clips in glorious 1080p full HD resolution to existing social platforms or video sites, or even share them with specific people via text message or email. There are even full-screen, text-based cards Apple calls Posters which let you add bookends or explanatory cards in between clips to lend a sense of structure to your videos.

And then there’s Live Titles, the app’s big differentiator, which was driven in some part by the way a lot of people consume video content these days — on mobile phones, audio muted, while they scroll through autoplaying videos on Facebook. Clips uses voice recognition tech to add text to your videos, so you don’t have to physically type in the text overlay / captioning — you just tap the Live Title option, choose a style and record your voice and the app translates that into on-screen text. Based on my non-scientific trials, Live Titles is surprisingly accurate, and could decipher what I was saying, colloquialisms and all.

Creating a Clip can be simplistic, yet the app allows businesses and individuals the flexibility to put in some elbow grease (maybe even some mild storyboarding!) into making videos that are a bit more polished than the basic stuff you might share on something like Snapchat. Think of it as Snapchat for grownups — sure, it has a similar creation process, including fun elements like filters and snazzy text (no selfie filters yet though!). But since it has its video creation app DNA firmly in place, you get far more control over what the finished product looks like. With Live Titles, Clips can be repurposed into pushing out quick how-to videos and product demos, which can then be shared with your audiences in a platform agnostic fashion. I quite like that Apple hasn’t gone the way of Snapchat in limiting Clips to a closed social network, providing an option for folks who just don’t get Snapchat to still be able to view your content.

Clips isn’t going to replace a Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premiere in a serious video editing workflow for advertisements or promotional videos. It’s the video editing app for the rest of us, as long as you have an iOS device handy, to create well-thought-through mobile content for an online audience.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.


Tushar Kanwar

The author is Technology Columnist and Program Manager in Bengaluru, India

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