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iMovie for iPhone Details Surface

During the WWDC keynote last week that introduced the new iPhone 4, Apple also revealed iMovie for iPhone, an app that can edit video clips and still images into a movie. The app creates movies complete with themes, transitions, titles, and other features that go beyond just trimming individual clips, an option found in the iPhone 3GS. The demonstration was impressive (it begins at the 57:00 mark of the keynote video), but several questions were left unanswered.


Thanks to sources within Apple, I have uncovered some details:

  • iMovie for iPhone will require the iPhone 4, and will not be available for the iPhone 3GS. Handling video and creating real-time transitions needs the power of the iPhone 4’s A4 processor.
  • Although the iPad runs the A4 processor, the app won’t run on that device. I suspect the app is tailored to the iPhone 4’s higher-density screen, and therefore wouldn’t work within the iPad’s pixel-doubled compatibility mode. (I’d be very surprised if an iMovie for iPad version doesn’t appear at some point, possibly with the release of iOS 4 for the iPad in a few months.)
  • Projects edited on the iPhone cannot “currently” be transferred to iMovie on the Mac for further editing; projects stay on the phone. (The edited movies can be exported or synced to iTunes, however.)
  • Video clips can be recorded directly within iMovie for iPhone or come from the Camera Roll (clips previously shot using the phone’s built-in camera). Based on how the Camera Roll works, I suspect it may also be possible to work with clips you’ve shot elsewhere by emailing them from your computer to the iPhone, then saving the attachment to the Camera Roll. The clips would need to be properly formatted as H.264 videos (and without having the software or an iPhone 4 to test, I don’t know which specifications that entails).
  • iMovie for iPhone is scheduled to ship 24 June 2010 to coincide with the launch of the iPhone 4.

As previously announced, the app will cost $4.99 and be available in the App Store.

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