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Apple adds two new powerful but easy-to-use features to iMovie for iOS and iPadOS.

Trailers, which lets you create astoundingly impactful short videos using detailed shot templates, orchestral music, and powerful text overlays, has long been one of Apple iMovie's most distinctive features. Today, the company releases Storyboards, which takes this great idea and extends it to many other types of video production—Product demos, cooking lessons, thank you missives, and more.

Apple first teased the new features at its Peek Performance event on March 8, and today they’re available to download on devices running iOS 15.2 or iPadOS 15.2. That includes iPhones back to the 6s, iPads back to 2017’s 5th generation model, and the iPod touch 7th generation. (The new release is called iMovie 3.0, though 12 years ago I reviewed iMovie 11. So much for product version numbering.)


I’ve long been a fan of iMovie’s Trailers feature, because it was nearly alone in teaching consumers how to craft compelling video stories, rather than just joining clips, using transitions, and adding titles willy-nilly. The feature, and now Storyboards, starts you with movie templates to fill with your media, specifying whether you should use a wide shot, a group shot, a closeup, and so on. (Another fine app that’s unfortunately no longer with us, Directr, did this, too.) In a nice touch, when you populate a shot slot with your media, it fills in the list with your content rather than keeping the line drawing sample.

Storyboard’s 20 categories range from cooking tutorials to gaming to makeovers, to product reviews to news reports—it’s a healthy choice, and an especially welcome one, considering there was just one, Trailers, before. Thankfully for fans of Trailers, that’s still among the Storyboard options, complete with the impactful symphonic soundtracks.

Once you’ve settled on a Storyboard type, you choose a Style, which you can change at any point. The Storyboard templates offer a great starting point for YouTubers to deliver polished uploads for their subscribers. The templates aren’t rigid, either: You can add, remove, and reorder shots to taste, or apply Instagram-like filters. You can also change the look and feel of the productions, choosing a different style.

Royalty-free music associated with a template autofits to the video length, and you can swap it out for your own creation from Garageband. You can also adjust the relative volume of video sound to background music with a simple pair of sliders.

Magic Movies

If even Storyboards sound like too much work for you, Apple’s got you covered with Magic Movies. With this tool, you simply select a bunch of clips and images and let the feature do the rest. That rest consists of identifying the best shots and clip sections, adding titles, transitions, and background music.

With either new tool, you can take the production to the desktop for further editing in iMovie or Final Cut Pro on a Mac. Then, exporting directly to a social media platform or sharing the movie in the other regular ways is a tap away.

For more advanced video editing, read our roundup of video-editing software, and head to our Apple coverage page for more on the tech giant.


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