Final Cut Pro for iPad is finally here, but it’s missing two key features
OPINION: Apple made the surprise announcement today (May 9) that Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro will be making their way to iPads later this month, and while there’s a lot to get excited about, it seems as though Apple has dropped the ball in a few key areas.
As someone who’s been using LumaFusion – one of the iPad’s best video editors – for years, it always seemed strange to me that Apple wasn’t trying to move in on the app’s success by either expanding the capabilities of iMovie or simply porting Final Cut Pro to its tablets. Whatever was causing the holdup is clearly out of the way, and the final product looks unbelievably exciting.
From the footage shown off by Apple, it seems incredibly seamless to remove the background of a given shot and replace it with something more eye-catching, all without needing to dust off a green screen before you shoot. There’s also some incredibly intuitive Apple Pencil integration that lets you draw directly onto a video and animate your handwriting in next to no time.
These are the types of features that go a long way to not only simplify the editing process but also add a lot more flair to your videos with minimal effort. It’s enough to make me fork out for the new software, if there weren’t two glaring issues standing in the way.
For starters, LumaFusion is clearly Final Cut Pro’s biggest competitor in this area, and while the latter may end up being more feature-rich, the former benefits from iPad and iPhone compatibility. Just this weekend, I edited an entire video directly on my iPhone 14 because I wanted to get it done quickly and not have to deal with the wait times of transferring files to my iPad.
In these instances, being able to edit on your iPhone is a huge timesaver, and LumaFusion has had years to make its expansive UI feel at home on a touchscreen. To have Final Cut Pro limited to just iPads means that it’s going to miss out on the versatility enjoyed by its closest competitor, and that could ensure that LumaFusion remains a tempting alternative into the future.
Of course, if people would much rather make use of a larger screen for editing then this isn’t really an issue, but the gatekeeping of Final Cut Pro to iPads using the M1 chip and above certainly will be. This means that if you have an iPad Mini 6, iPad 10th Gen, an iPad Air 2020 or even a pre-M1 iPad Pro – you’re completely out of luck.
To make matters worse, the ability to hover your Apple Pencil and glide through your video timeline without touching the screeen is hidden away even further – accessible only to the lucky few who have the latest M2 iPad Pros. Why this isn’t possible on the M1 chipset is completely beyond me, but as someone who uses a standard iPad, I’ll be watching from the outside, trying to find a way to haphazardly recreate these features in LumaFusion for the time being.
If you are lucky enough to have all of the rights tools however then you might like to know that Final Cut Pro for iPad will drop on May 23 and will cost £4.99/$4.99 a month (or £49/$49 annually).