TidBITS is reporting some more details about iMovie for iPhone. It seems that iMovie for iPhone should more accurately be titled iMovie for iPhone 4. The movie editing package for the iPhone will only be available for the iPhone 4 when it is released.
The details they have are as follows :
- It is a no-go on the iPhone 3GS, you need the iPhone 4′s A4 processor (iPad version por favor?) and probably its higher res screen as well. Handling video and creating real-time transitions was the official reason.
- You can’t export projects (yet?) to iMovie on the Mac for further editing. Obviously you can export via iTunes flat movies and do whatever you want on the desktop after that.
- You can record video and still directly within the application or bring in previously recorded stills/videos. Because of the way the iOS works, you can also use footage sent to you via email because image/video files are saved in the Camera Roll. Obviously the files would need to be Apple-approved formats like H.264. .AVIs need not apply.
- The app will ship on June 24th for $4.99 (known already). The app is for iPhone only because it probably uses the higher res display and probably won’t upscale to the iPad’s display. It would be surprising if a iPad version doesn’t at some point ship, whether the iPad gets a camera or not.
Apple restricting this to the iPhone 4 makes a lot more sense than their Multitasking restrictions in iOS4 for earlier iPhones. The mobile iMovie package probably really does benefit from the extra processing power that the Apple A4 CPU in the iPhone 4 has. The graphical capabilities in the new iPhone 4 are pretty much the same as the iPhone 3GS, or perhaps a little les powerful overall because of the increased screen size, the CPU is significantly more powerful in the iPhone 4 when compared to the iPhone 3GS. And iMovie needs a lot of CPU horsepower for transitions, and image processing work flows.
Although, having said that it would probably be possible to edit video without too much sluggishness on an iPhone 3GS, or on the more recent iPod Touch revisions – at a pinch.
It is clear however that Apple sees iMovie as a major selling feature for the iPhone 4, and therefore by restricting its availability to drive upgrades. What is a little more confusing is why Apple have not made a version available for the iPad yet. Expect that to perhaps be linked to an iPad update early next year, or even at the tail end of this year.
At the moment you also cannot share iMovie for iPhone projects with iMovie for the Macintosh. (But you can export finished videos for sharing with other computers and web services, obviously.)
Both the export limitations, and the limitation of the software not being available on the iPad, is more likely temporary, and more to do with the level of extra work required to make these packages work with the different screen resolution on the iPad, and effectively import and export slightly different iMovie file formats between iDevices and desktop machines.
Would you have liked to see iMovie for iPhone on the iPhone 3GS, and sooner rather than later on the iPad? Let us know your feelings in the comments.