Apple has yet to create a successful social networking app, but that doesn't mean they want to be left out of the social video conversation. Case in point: Today they announced a new video app set to debut for iOS in April called Clips.
Clips is separate from the core Camera app on an iPhone or iPad, but it isn't quite a social networking app either. It's somewhere in between the two. Ostensibly, the purpose of the app is to shoot and edit photos and videos that can then be uploaded to social sharing apps.
As seen below, the capture screen on the app is square (like Instagram's), and at the top of the app resides four different features: Live Titles, Filters, Overlays, and Posters. Each video you shoot or image you add is a clip, which can be up to 30 minutes long. They can then be strung together with other clips, for a maximum video length of 60 minutes.
You can then upload these clips to any social media app you prefer, including Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, and Tumblr, though there are a few extras built into iMessage if you share there, including automatically detecting and suggesting you share with the iMessage users in the clip.
Lauren Goode of The Verge got a chance to play around with Clips and reported back on the good, the bad, and the meh. Mainly, it's a mishmosh of different parts of Snapchat, Instagram, Vine, Prisma, iMovie, and Qwiki, with features like "adding filters, basic text, contextual elements like location or time of day, emoji, and iTunes music tracks," Goode notes.
There are also cool and unique features that solve problems social networkers didn't even know they had.
Live Titles eliminates having to type out any text overlay: Simply record your voice and the app translates it into text in the font of your choosing. This both speeds up the captioning process for clips and allows for a cool "rolling captioning" over your Clips videos.
Oddly, Goode noted, the feature is unintuitive and, unfortunately, it removes the ability to scribble over your face or add text to an image or video with your finger, the way you can in Snapchat. Boo.
The posters feature will be useful, as Goode says it allows you to create "full-screen, text-based graphics," and slot them into your clip. This is an easy way to have both a title and end card, or to place transitions in between clips the way you might add a transition or explanatory snap image to your story. Traditionally, some sort of editing software would be needed to create these transitions, but with Clips, it can all be done quickly in the palm of your hand.
Another appealing and unique characteristic Clips provides? Privacy. The content is stored directly on your phone and is not sent out to a million people directly through the app and stored in the app's cloud (I'm looking at you, Snapchat), so it offers a modicum of more safety that users might be desperate for in today's society.
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