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Apple updates iMovie, GarageBand and iWork

Alongside the new iPad, iOS 5.1 and iPhoto for iPad, Apple unveiled updates to the iMovie and GarageBand iPad apps. These have been upgraded to make the most out of the hardware of the new iPad.


The new Apple iPad: iMovie

iMovie allows you to put together HD video creations shot on your new iPad’s 1080p HD capable camera.

As well as being able to add background music like before you can now drop in visual effects from templates such as ‘Romance,’ ‘Fairy Tale’ and ‘Superhero’. We particularly like the sound of the last one, which lets you drop in old Batman-style ‘Pow!’ and ‘Krak!’ sound effects.

As well as this you can also add in Hollywood trailer fades and virtual theatre curtains. Though you can add your own background music to score your masterpieces, Apple has added soundtracks written by Academy Award-winner Hans Zimmer that have been performed by the London Symphony Orchestra.

Finally, you can also share your movie trailers to YouTube, Vimeo and Facebook from iMovie and and use AirPlay to stream them to Apple TV in HD, up to 1080p.


The new Apple iPad: GarageBand Jam Session and Smart Strings

GarageBand for iPad was already a great app but it was always a bit of a solitary affair. Now with Garage Band Jam Session, you and a group of friends with iPads or iPhones can connect wirelessly to play and record instruments live in the same session.

Once you’re done playing, Jam Session will automatically synchronises the tempo, key and chords of the Touch Instruments used so everyone sounds in time. After jamming, everyone’s tracks are automatically collected, ready for you to mix down.

At the moment, Jam Session can only support four musicians at once. So you’re limited to the classic rock combo of drums, bass, lead and rhythm guitar. That is if you’re a rock four piece; you can of course lay down keyboards, percussion, piano or whatever instrument you want in GarageBand, which now includes string sections.

Another neat new feature of GarageBand is SmartStrings. This is a new instrument that lets you control an entire string section with one finger. Perfect if you want to start up an iPad-based My Life Story covers band.

With the new Note Editor you can also pitch-shift Touch Instruments if you’ve hit any bum notes during a take instead of you having to go back and do it again.

As before, you can share your GarageBand efforts with friends and now there’s iCloud support too, along with the ability to share songs to SoundCloud, Facebook and YouTube.

The new Apple iPad: iWork

Finally, there’s iWork for iOS. Apple’s suite of productivity apps have been beefed up so that they take advantage of the new iPad’s 2048×1536 Retina Display.

Now pie charts, bar graphs can be given the full 3D treatment and landscape orientation for Keynote presentations is now supported. As well as this, Keynote now benefits from new slide transitions such as Wipe, Iris, Shimmer, Flame, Swing and Fade Through Color. We know at least one person who’ll probably be applying Flame transitions to every Keynote presentation.

iMovie, GarageBand (both £2.99) and iWork (£6.99) are all available to download from iTunes App Store now.

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