Hands-On With Apple's New 'Clips' Video App

Apple Clips app iPhone

Clips is free to download, and it's available on iOS only.

The updated app also lets users play a sound from one or both of the misplaced AirPods.

To find Clips' various features, you tap the corresponding button near the top of the screen. There's music in there, too, with dozens of tunes available to give your video a soundtrack, as well as a Live Titles feature that'll let you use your voice to add animated captions. If you don't want to record a new video or photo, you can also pull in existing content from your iPhone's library.

Like the Snapchat and Instagram stories, you just have to press a button continuously to shoot videos, take "live" pictures or use files recorded on the film. This option was partly driven by the way people are watching video online now - text only, no audio - which makes sense. Clips is essentially a streamlined version of iMovie for creating short mobile videos with filters and text overlays. That's assuming you want to take the time to do so. Selecting the "Live Titles" button will allow users to talk out subtitles and the app will transcribe what you say. Rather than just typing in subtitles, you can also choose to use the Live Titles feature, which adds text as you dictate it out loud and times its appearance to coincide with what's happening on-screen. The comic filter is cool, and it renders the effect on photos and videos as you're capturing them, not after the fact. These features are reminiscent of Snapchat. And iMessage is supposed to be slightly optimized for this.

Videos can be shared directly to social networks and video sites, including Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo, and more. The app will use facial recognition technology to determine who is in your clips videos and prioritize those contacts in the share function; although, I haven't tested that much, since I was using the app in advance of its official release and couldn't share the videos to all of my contacts.

If you happen to get things right on the first attempt, Apple Clips seems like a fun tool, but the second you try to actually edit something it all falls apart into a baffling mess of random taps.