Earlier this week, Bloomberg reported that Apple is investing heavily in augmented reality (AR) - and that Apple CEO Tim Cook is so high on AR's potential that he's likened it to the ubiquity of the smartphone.
"At some point, [Cook] said last year, we will all "have AR experiences every day, almost like eating three meals a day. It will become that much a part of you."
But in order to capitalize on this potential, Apple's going to need to introduce new devices and tools to give users a way to use these new AR functions. Bloomberg notes that Apple's working on several AR products - including "digital spectacles that could connect wirelessly to an iPhone and beam content - movies, maps and more - to the wearer".
And this week, we've seen another step in this direction, with Apple announcing a new iOS video editing app called 'Clips'. Clips enables users to create custom video clips which they can adorn with various graphics and overlays, similar to Snapchat.
As explained by Apple:
"The app features a unique design for combining video clips, photos and music into great-looking videos to share with friends through the Messages app, or on Instagram, Facebook and other popular social networks."
So rather than trying to go head-to-head with the social giants, Clips is more of a complimentary tool, a means for Apple to tap into the popularity of such options without creating their own social network. But that being the case, Clips would also seem to have less potential - without the engagement of a social network, Clips is only reliant on downloads as a measure to monetize, if that's what Apple was aiming to do.
But then again, that may not be the end goal - Clips may just be a way for Apple to highlight the potential of their hardware, and offer more tools to lead into their augmented reality functions. Imagine, for example, if Apple started to introduce more advanced tools into Clips that caught on amongst younger audiences. That could become a reason why they might want to buy an iOS device over Android.
It's unlikely, you'd think, that Clips would reach that level, but given their aforementioned bets on AR, maybe this is the test vehicle they need to showcase their capabilities.
One of Clips' big features out of the gate is something Apple's calling 'Live Titles':
"Live Titles is a breakthrough feature that lets users create animated captions and titles using just their voice. Fun effects including comic book filters, speech bubbles, shapes and full-screen animated posters help bring out the personality in videos made with Clips."
These are the sorts of elements Clips will enable Apple to showcase, next level tools beyond those available on Facebook or Snapchat.
"Captions are generated automatically as a user speaks, and appear on screen perfectly synced with the user's voice. Users can mix and match different styles, and tap any title to adjust text and punctuation, or even add inline emoji. Live Titles supports 36 different languages."
In addition, Clips has "dozens of music soundtracks to choose from, and they automatically adjust to match the length of a video." And when you share Clips via message, Clips will also suggest who to share your videos with, based on who appears in your video.
It's an interesting move by Apple - maybe not game-changing, and it's not really a competitor for Snapchat and Facebook, as such, but it moves in line with user trends around video and creative tools, and gives Apple a way in to showcase their capacity in this regard.
There's definitely potential there, and it could be a great accompaniment for your video process.