The April iMovie for Mac Update Rundown

If you own a Mac, chances are it came with iMovie preinstalled – a handy little video editing package, which is ideal for amateur moviemakers and those who enjoy tinkering around with home videos. In case your machine didn’t come with this app preinstalled, or, for some reason, you chose to get rid of it at some point and now realized you need it again, you can always download it from the App Store for $14.99. In the first half of April this year, Apple released a much-needed update to its video editing suite; most changes are minor upgrades, but the overall verdict is that the app has been substantially improved, even if in small increments. Here is our rundown of this month’s iMovie for Mac update.

The new features and upgrades in the iMovie for Mac update

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As stated above, most improvements in this version of the editing application are minor, but they do address usability issues, as well as several bugs. Here are the new features of the iMovie 10.0.3 release:

  • Events displayed in the sidebar can now be sorted by date, which is both intuitive, as well as useful for amateur video editors that work on deadlines. Events can now also be used for several video editing features, such as clipping and rotating.
  • Since the 10th version of iMovie saw the addition of several new titles, iMovie 10.0.3 improves on that and allows users to customize those titles by changing their font face, size, and color.
  • Transition durations can now be clipped through a simple double-click in timeline view. In terms of effects and transitions, Apple has included a lot of tiny, but important usability tweaks in the iMovie for Mac update. Users can now speed up their clips via the Adjustments Bar and these speed effects can also be smoothly transitioned in and out of.
  • Some bugs have also been resolved in iMovie for Mac 10.0.3, says the Apple new feature checklist for the release. For one thing, several issues that were previously causing the application to quit unexpectedly have been resolved, and, for another, the sharing issues have also been taken care of. Apple says it has worked through all the problems that had previously caused the sharing feature to fail.
  • The search feature in iMovie was previously rather unreliable, but the latest iMovie for Mac update has improved reliability issues, both for partial, as well as for multiple search terms.
  • In the previous version, some users experienced usability issues when using the app on a computer set to certain languages. The iMovie for Mac update promises to have taken care of these problems.

It will be interesting to see whether iMovie regains some of the ground it has lost to Final Cut Pro, its more complex and streamlined sibling. Many users extol the virtues of Final Cut Pro, which, in comparison, both looks better and allows for better timeline handling. However, historically, it has happened before for iMovie to surpass Final Cut Pro’s development curve – could this be the case now, too?

Bonus: The Xcode update from Apple

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On April 10, Apple also released version 5.1.1, alongside the iMovie for Mac update. This coding app, which can be freely downloaded off the App Store, is a comprehensive tool for developers that create applications for Mac, iPhone and iPad. It allows them to work at everything, from user interface design to testing and debugging, in a single window. It’s also an analysis tool, which identifies logic and syntax mistakes, as well as suggesting coding error fixes. The new version has done away with a bug that unexpectedly repositioned the Interface Builder canvas, another one concerning failed test reports for tests that had actually been passed and also improved the reliability of the Quick Look feature within the debugger.