How To Use Apple's New Video Tool To Up Your Instagram Game

Photographed by Natalia Mantini.
At the end of last month, Apple surprised us with two big announcements — new product launches and Clips, an app for creating instantly shareable videos.
Compared to Apple’s other photo and video apps, the more complicated iMovie and the simplistic, no-effort-needed Memories, Clips occupies a nice middle ground. It isn’t overly difficult, but it gives you just enough choice and creative freedom in the process. Your short videos might not be fit for an Oscar nod, but they can, very easily, be Instagram-worthy.
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Clips will be released in the App Store later today, but before you download it and start filming your coffee break exploits and beach trips, click through to see how to use all the app’s features. From live titles to full-screen animations, here’s where Clips wins and where it falls slightly short.
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Photo: Madeline Buxton.
Clips opens onto the camera screen and you can easily switch from photo to video to your library by tapping the labels along the bottom of the screen.
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Photo: Madeline Buxton.
Arguably the coolest part of Clips is Live Titles, a narration tool that you can access by pressing the icon in the far left of the upper toolbar. Choose a typeface that you like; then use it to record text that will show up as an onscreen caption. But take note: You need to speak somewhat slowly and clearly to be sure the app picks up everything you or someone else is saying.
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Photo: Madeline Buxton.
To the right of Live Filters, you'll see the now-standard filters tool. For now, there are eight options to play with and apply to photos or videos, including comic book, ink, and chrome.
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Photo: Madeline Buxton.
Next up, you'll see location-specific stickers, including time stamps and speech bubbles that you can tap to add to your photo or video. Once added, you can play with the size and edit the text. Many of the stickers come with specific animations that you'll see when you play your video back. These are fun additions, but in the future, it would be nice to choose the effect for each and have more control over typeface and background color.
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Photo: Madeline Buxton.
Swipe left on your sticker sheet and you'll see a somewhat limited offering of emoji. You can always add another emoji by inserting one onscreen, tapping to edit, and using your emoji keyboard. But please, Apple, for the sake of all things worthy of a hand gesture, add a larger offering directly in the app.
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Photo: Madeline Buxton.
The last tool on that upper toolbar is a page of full-screen animated posters. These can be used as end cards or as a fun way to introduce or break up different parts of your video.
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Photo: Madeline Buxton.
When you take a photo, you'll see an option to mute any background noise, or you can use the scissors tool to shorten or lengthen it. For videos, you won't be able to make them longer than their original recording, but you can shorten them or feature only a specific segment.
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Photo: Madeline Buxton.
To cut a segment, simply drag the arrows to the right or left depending on which part you want to include.
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Photo: Madeline Buxton.
When you're ready to add some beats, select the music note icon in the upper right-hand corner. You can choose a song from your playlist, but I'd recommend opting for one of Apple's specially curated soundtracks which have themes like "playful," "chill," and, my personal favorite, "bluegrass birthday."
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Photo: Madeline Buxton.
Take about two seconds to download the song, then tap the back arrow to preview it in sync with your video. You can switch to another or tap done to apply it. The best part of Apple's soundtracks is that they automatically adjust to the length of your video, meaning that the song will complete and won't cut off mid-lyric.
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Photo: Madeline Buxton.
When you're done, tap the upload icon (the box with the arrow pointing upwards). You'll see an option to message it to friends with whom you've texted recently, or you can directly upload it to an email, Facebook, Vimeo, Instagram, YouTube, or WhatsApp.
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Photo: Madeline Buxton.
If Instagram is your go-to, write a caption per usual, and...
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Not feeling the 🌧, but having some fun playing with #AppleClips

A post shared by Madeline Buxton (@maddybuxton) on

You're done! Now, just wait for the Likes to roll in — plus probably a lot of people commiserating about the weather.
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