Friday, 10 November 2017 10:06

Apple updates Clips video app with 360-degree iPhone X selfies, Star Wars content and more

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Apple's free and fun Clips 2.0 app for iOS, which makes creating and sharing fun videos on iPhone or iPad, has just received a very cool update for all compatible devices, plus some special iPhone X exclusive features.

With a redesigned UI, new artistic effects and even the joy of Star Wars content, just in time for next month's new Star Wars movie, the force isn't just strong with Apple's Clips app, but clearly, the company itself.

The new, free Clips 2.0 app adds artistic style transfer effects and a redesigned interface that makes it easier than ever to create great videos on the go, as well as the new "Selfie Scenes" capability.

We're told that Selfie Scenes is an "exciting new feature that places users into animated, 360-degree scenes when recording selfies."

It works by using the iPhone X's "sophisticated TrueDepth camera system" allowing Selfie Scenes "to transport users into bustling cities, serene landscapes, abstract paintings and even the Millennium Falcon and Mega-Destroyer from 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi'."

Users can choose "from 10 Apple-designed scenes, featuring unique locations, characters, colours and visual styles plus those two scenes The Last Jedi. Each scene is a full 360-degree experience, so it surrounds users on all sides as they move iPhone X. And environmental sound effects make scenes even more immersive".

An image of my smiling self as a hologram with a storm trooper in the background can be seen below, as a glimpse of what this technology is all about - the story continues below, please read on!

Susan Prescott, Apple’s vice-president of Apps Product Marketing, said: "Clips users love how quick and easy it is to create amazing videos on iPhone or iPad.

“And we’re making it even more fun with Selfie Scenes. By harnessing the incredible new TrueDepth camera system on iPhone X, users can now record selfies against a variety of fun and whimsical backdrops with just a tap.”

Now, if you've read up to this point, and are still wondering what Clips is, here's Apple's description:

Apple explains that with Clips, "users can create personal video messages, slideshows, school projects and mini-movies with amazing features like Live Titles that automatically generates animated captions from a user’s voice and 360-degree immersive Selfie Scenes on iPhone X.

"Clips lets users add personality to their videos with dozens of filters, animated stickers and full-screen animated posters. The app includes more than 60 soundtracks that automatically adjust to match the length of videos. And Clips uses the content and subjects in a video to make intelligent sharing suggestions via Messages, making it fast and simple to share with others."

New effects and stickers

"New artistic effects use advanced machine learning and style transfer technology to turn any photo or video into a moody oil painting, vibrant watercolour or elegant pencil sketch — in real time while recording. Clips also adds more content from Disney, including full-screen posters featuring Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse, as well as Star Wars stickers featuring animated versions of Princess Leia, Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, Chewbacca and others.

"Users can also add more personality to their Clips videos with 16 new Apple-designed stickers and 21 new royalty-free soundtracks from indie artists. And, as with all Clips soundtracks, these new tracks automatically adjust to match the length of videos."

Redesigned user interface

"The easy-to-use interface gets even better with a streamlined design that puts frequently used controls easily within reach. A new Effects browser lets users view and choose filters, labels, stickers and emoji.

"Labeled buttons make it easier than ever to edit Live Titles, add or change filters, trim, mute and delete clips. And full-screen browsers allow users to see more of their content when viewing their photo library or selecting animated posters."

iCloud support

"Users can now access and edit their Clips videos across iPhone and iPad via iCloud. Videos are automatically uploaded and backed up to iCloud, so users can start a video on iPhone and finish it later on iPad. Photos and video clips in iCloud Photo Library are referenced by Clips, not copied, to make efficient use of iCloud storage.

"And Clips adds support for Shared iPad, so students can create amazing videos in both one-to-one and Shared iPad environments."

Pricing and availability

You can download Clips 2.0 now for the first time, or as a free update on the App Store and it's compatible with iPhone 5s, iPad Air and iPad mini 2 and later models, running iOS 11.1 and later.

As noted above, Selfie Scenes are only available on iPhone X, while the style transfer effects described above are only available on iPhone 7 and later models and 2017 iPad Pro.

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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