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Hands-On With Apple's Updated Clips App on iPhone X


macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

Apple late last week updated its "Clips" video editing app, introducing the first major new feature additions since it was first released in April of 2017. The updated version of the app overhauls the interface to make it simpler to upload videos, and it includes features that take advantage of the TrueDepth camera in the iPhone X.

We went hands-on with the new version of Clips to see if the changes Apple made to the app might possibly make it something that people will want to use more frequently.

If you're unfamiliar with Clips, it's an app that's designed to let you combine video clips, images, and photos with voice-based titles, music, filters, stickers, and graphics to create videos that can be shared with friends or family via Messages or email and on social networks.

Clips has been somewhat confusing since launch due to its convoluted interface, but that's been improved in the new version of the app. It's simpler to start up a clip, with the app opening directly to the camera interface where content can be recorded without adding confusing icons at the top. Quick swipes will also let you start a clip using a scene, a photo from the camera roll, or a poster, which is a solid background with a saying like "Check this out" or "Let's do this."

Scenes, aka "Selfie Scenes," are a new feature available only on the iPhone X. Selfie Scenes use the TrueDepth camera to detect a person and then cut out the background, replacing it with one of several animated backgrounds like Metropolis, Riverfront, or Sketchbook, complete with sounds and filters. There are even two Star Wars scenes that put you on the Millennium Falcon or Mega-Destroyer.

Clips, as the name suggests, lets you combine several different "clips" of content, so you can film yourself talking using a Selfie Scene, insert a poster with a voice over, throw in a few photos, and end with a standard video, all of which are automatically merged together into one video.

You can dress up your videos using Live Titles, aka subtitles that are added automatically using transcription, stickers, filters, emoji, and labels that are customizable based on location and time. The new update adds several additional stickers (including Star Wars) and new royalty-free music that can be applied to videos.

Once finished, the video you created in Clips can be messaged to a contact or saved to the camera roll where it can be shared on social networks like Facebook and Instagram.

Clips was downloaded more than a million times following its release, but since then, it's failed to really catch on with iOS users. Right now, Clips is the #44 app in the Photo & Video section, and it does not rank as one of the top 200 free apps on the overall Top Charts listing.

Article Link: Hands-On With Apple's Updated Clips App on iPhone X


macrumors 6502a
Jun 7, 2001
Seems cool but what about using that tech for photos? Trimming down video to find a freeze frame for a Star Wars photo isn't what I want to do.


macrumors 68000
Oct 5, 2006
Great White North
My background scenes aren't moving in 360 degrees on my X.

Is anyone experiencing this?

Found the culprit: Make sure Compass Calibration is ON! Or Turn OFF then ON if already on.

Location Services
System Services
Compass Calibration
Last edited:


macrumors regular
Aug 23, 2009
Strange, mine are moving in 360 degrees. Have you guys tried restarting the Clips app/restarting the iPhone X?

Tried restarting and uninstalling/reinstalling the app to no 360 movement. The camera angle seems to be stuck at viewing up towards the ceiling but it's able to isolate me and put a background on.


macrumors 68020
Oct 22, 2014
known but velocity indeterminate

In all these years it wasn't until this video that I realized there's a question mark in the Mac Rumors logo. Who knew.

Also, I've noticed in the last two videos you've made that your camera must pick up near IR light as I can see the dot projector and illuminators going on your X but of course can't see them in real life on my phone.

I swear I've learned other things from your videos too, those just struck me.


macrumors 68020
Mar 23, 2011
Leeds, UK
What’s a Mega-Destroyer?
What’s a Mega-Destroyer?

Just tried it out. Thinks it’s meant to be the Executor. Dunno why Apple have called in Mega-Destroy when am everyone else calls it a Super Star Destroyer. Seems to be a hologram of some Mon Calamari ship inside it, which is cool :)


macrumors 604
Jan 7, 2014
In between a rock and a hard place
Also, I've noticed in the last two videos you've made that your camera must pick up near IR light as I can see the dot projector and illuminators going on your X but of course can't see them in real life on my phone.
Could we be seeing the difference between the refresh rates of the dot projector and the recording? Sort of like flickering tail lights in car videos.

On topic: To me, things like Clips are novelties that soon wear off. New feature? Oooooo, I'm gonna try that out. 2 weeks later, feature has virtual cobwebs hanging from it. The initial downloading fury and subsequent fall on the charts mirror the sentiment I'm expressing.
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