How To Use Apple’s Clips App to Make Fun Viral Videos

BY Khamosh Pathak

Published 9 Apr 2017

How to use Apple Clips app

Apple has a new video making app out. It’s not a social network. It’s not a Snapchat clone. Apple’s Clips app is iMovie for the mobile generation. As long as you’re running iOS 10.3, you’ll be able to record, edit, and share square clips all from your iPhone. It can be something simple like you talking to the screen for 5 seconds. Or it can be a mishmash of your voice with some pre-recorded video, with a cool filter, animated title cards, cool stickers, and annotated text of what you’re speaking, embedded in the video. And all of that can be done on an iPhone.

Of course, Clips is in no way as feature rich as iMovie but it’s not meant to be. Apple is themselves promoting this as a tool for creating short, fun, social media friendly, hopefully, viral videos. If that’s your goal, or you want to create a fun video to send your friends, Clips is worth looking into.

How To Use Apple’s Clips App

The app is mostly straightforward. If you’ve ever used a video editing app on a touchscreen interface, you should be at home. But Clips does some weird things when it comes to actually recording and adding videos and photos. We’ll walk you through that.

Download: Apple Clips

Let’s Start A Project

When you first start the app, you’ll be thrown into the recording view. You can directly start recording a clip. Or you can start a new project – what Apple calls a Video.


From the top toolbar, tap the drop-down icon and select New Video. A project won’t actually start until you record a clip.

How To Record A Video Clip with Clips App

The app defaults to the front facing camera. You’ll see a preview at the top. Double tap on the preview to zoom in. You can also pinch and zoom.


You’ll see a big honking Hold To Record. Tap it and hold and you’ll start recording the video. To engage the hands-free recording mode, swipe left after holding the button and you’ll lock it.

To switch between the cameras, tap the button on the right side of the shutter button. To mute the voice, tap on the button on the left.

How To Add A Photo or Media From Library in the Clips App

So adding a photo in the Clips app is a bit weird. You don’t just click a picture and put it there. You “add” it to the video. Which means you make it the background of the video for a set period of time. Weird, yes. But also genius. This means that you can do voice over, over the photo. Once you’ve taken the photo, tap on Hold To Add This Photo. While doing this, you can zoom into the picture as well.

To add a photo or video from the library, Tap on the Library button. This will show the media in your Camera Roll. When you select a video, you can’t add the whole video right there. You’ll need to tap and hold to add the parts of the clip that plays as you tap the button. Weird, yes.

How to Add Animated Text in Clips App

We now come with one of the headlining features of the Clips app. Tap the first, chat bubble button in the toolbar and you’ll be able to add animated text on the video. This is a really cool feature where the app will transcribe what you’re saying and will put it on top of the screen, as you say it. But remember to speak slowly and clearly. Enunciating for effect with help.

After you tap the annotation button you’ll be able to preview some styles – there are 7 of them. Tap one to select it. Then tap on and hold the action button and start talking.

Apple doesn’t always get the text right. It’s easy to go in and fix a typo later. At the bottom of the screen, you’ll see previews of different clips. Tap on the clip you just recorded.

How to Add a Filter in Clips App


What’s a video app these days, without a filter? Tap on the Filters icon in the top toolbar (it’s the second icon in the middle), and you’ll see a grid preview of filters. Here too you have 7 filters. Ranging from Noir, Fade, Ink, Comic Book, and Chrome.

How to Add a Sticker or Emoji in Clips App


The third button on the top toolbar that doesn’t really look like a sticker or an emoji, is what will show you a list of available stickers and emojis. Once you tap in, you’ll see a list of stickers like Nice!, YES!, WOW!, today’s date and so on. To view emojis, swipe left.

Tap on a sticker to add it. Pinch and zoom to make it bigger. Tap the x icon to remove it.

How to Add a Title Card in Clips App


A title card is an intro or transition card you can put in between the clips. Tap on the T icon from the top toolbar to see the 12 available styles of the title card. Tap on one to select it. Then tap on the text to edit it.

How to Trim a Clip

Even once you’ve captured a clip, you can make changes. Tap on a clip from the bottom and you’ll see contextual options for the particular clip. You can save the clip, delete it, mute the volume or trim it. To trim the clip, tap on the scissors icon.


Tap on the yellow start and end points and then slide around to make the clip shorter or longer. Tap on the white line to set the start time. Tap on the play button to preview it. When you’re happy with it, tap on Apply.

If you don’t like the clip, you can delete it from the same page where the trip option shows up.

How To Rearrange Clips

Once you’ve recorded a couple of clips for a video, you’ll see preview tiles for each clip in the bottom. To rearrange them, simply tap and hold on a preview, then swipe left/right, release your finger to drop it there.

How to Add Background Music to a Clip

Clips easily lets you import any music from your library to serve as background music. Tap on the music note icon in the top-right. You can either import any song from your collection by going into My Music or choose one of the built-in scores by choosing Soundtracks.


The background applies to the entire video and not a clip. Once selected, you’ll be able to preview the video in the Music section.

You Can Use Multiple Effects Together

The animated text, filters and emoji effects can all be used together, in one clip. Doesn’t matter if the clip is what you’ve recorded, or imported from the gallery.

How to Share or Save The Video in Clips App

To share a video to Instagram or save it to your camera roll, first tap on the drop-down button and then the Share button.


Here you’ll see the option to save the video, save it to Dropbox, iCloud Drive or send it to social media app like Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and so on.

Clips has another cool feature here. The app can analyze the video and match it with any of your friends and family members that are already in your contact book (and presumably, photo library). When sharing, you’ll see shortcuts for directly sending the video to the people that Apple thinks are in the video.

Download: Apple Clips

What Have You Made?

How useful do you think the new Clips app is? Do you have lots of ideas for using it? Have you already made a viral clip? Share with us in the comments below.