iMovie 3.0 just added two big features to make zero-effort movies

iMovie 3.0 on an iPhone in Magic Movie mode
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple new iMovie 3.0 is an update to an application that you may have forgotten was even on your phone. And interestingly enough, this update kinda revolves around the whole concept of not thinking about what you can do with all the videos you've shot.

iMovie 3.0, available today (Tuesday, April 12) on iPhones and iPads adds two new features that look to remind you of how much you could do with your videos. I know what you're thinking, because it's what I think every time I consider editing footage I shot myself: "that sounds like a lot of work."

Fortunately, iMovie 3.0 looks to remove as much of that work as possible.

iMovie 3.0's Magic Movie is made for the laziest of us

According to my Photos app, I have over 4,100 videos in my iCloud Photos Library. And have I done much with them? With the exception of a single video I published to my personal YouTube, and the random videos I share unedited or turn into GIFs, these videos are just sitting in my iCloud, taking up space.

The new Magic Movie feature in iMovie looks to solve that. You open iMovie, tap Magic Movie and then you'll select videos from your library. Then, iMovie takes the wheel by intelligently identifying the best sections of your footage, then creating a new project with all of your videos.

iMovie 3.0 on an iPad in Magic Movie mode

(Image credit: Apple)

iMovie will do the stuff you kinda don't want to do, adding titles, transitions and music. For said music, you can use music you've purchased, Apple's own provided soundtracks and audio imported from Garage Band. It even auto-balances its music when it identifies that people are speaking in your videos. Of course, you can adjust that all you want. 

Magic Movie also sports 20 "styles" (think templates) so you can find the look that best matches the vibe in your videos. Of course, you have total control, and can re-edit clips (trimming as need be) in Magic Movie, as well as adjusting transitions and so on.

iMovie 3.0's Storyboards are a mini film school

If you have an aspiring director in your home (yourself included), the other big iMovie 3.0 feature may be a bigger deal. Storyboards takes templates to an extreme, giving you a series of kinds of videos (instructional DIY clips, gaming, online Q&A)  and then a whole shot list for how to make your own.

For each step in that shot list, you can either import a clip you've already shot or just shoot that video right there on your iPhone or iPad. Storyboard projects feature automatic music that adjusts to fit the length of the shots you're working with.

iMovie 3.0 on an iPad in Storyboards mode

(Image credit: Apple)

Of course, film can be a collaborative effort, so you can use placeholder clips for when you share your Storyboard project with a fellow creator. Storyboards have their own styles, and you can change the look as you go without worrying about losing your edits.

The update is going out today, so keep an eye out for these new features the next time you fire up iMovie.

Henry T. Casey
Managing Editor (Entertainment, Streaming)

Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.