The biggest features missing from Final Cut Pro for iPad at launch

Posted:
in General Discussion edited May 24
After years of rumors, Apple has delivered and shipped its professional video editing suite on iPad. While the app is incredibly full-featured, there are some big holes for pro workflows.

Final Cut Pro on iPad Pro
Final Cut Pro on iPad Pro


We've been testing out the intial realease of Final Cut Pro on our M2-equipped 12.9-inch iPad Pro. It's an ideal device for video editing, and we were very impressed with how fluid and natural Final Cut Pro felt.

Apple includes a sample project to try out, though we created our own project based on a recent trip to Iceland. Here's what was missing as we set about editing our production.

Full roundtrip support

Unlike Logic Pro, Final Cut Pro lacks full roundtrip support with Mac. Roundtrip, the ability to move a project seamlessly between multiple platforms, makes it much less tedious when working on a project.

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A project can get exported from your iPad and moved to Mac, but it isn't as easy in the opposite direction. If you start a project on your Mac, it can't be easily migrated and opened on iPad.

This poses workflow issues for many editors, and you need to be sure to start your project on iPad rather than the other way around if you plan on working on both devices.

Export your Final Cut Pro for iPad project to move to Mac
Export your Final Cut Pro for iPad project to move to Mac

Plugins

There is a rich third-party marketplace for Final Cut Pro users with plenty of professional plugins that can provide various effects, animations, text, and more.

On iPad, this is non-existant. For now, at least.

Third-party content is coming soon to Final Cut Pro for iPad
Third-party content is coming soon to Final Cut Pro for iPad


Apple does say on its Final Cut Pro mini-site that "third-party content" from "leading developers" is coming soon, but there's little detail as to what kinds of content.

Since Apple has prepopulated the app with many of its own titles, transitions, effects, backgrounds, and sounds, it is easy to see third-party plugins living here as well, though we won't see the same in-depth plugins we do on Mac.

Transitions, texts, and effects

As we said, Apple has a lot of pre-installed media for users. For example there are just more than 40 title effects to use. On Mac, Final Cut Pro has far more.

Background effects and transitions in Final Cut Pro for iPad
Background effects and transitions in Final Cut Pro for iPad


The same goes for effects, transitions, bacgrounds, and objects. All are lacking, compared to its Mac counterpart.

What comes with the iPad version isn't a bad selection, but without the ability to add more -- whether from Apple or third parties -- it feels limiting.

Other advanced features

Some features exist in the mobile version of Final Cut Pro but to a lesser degree.

On any video clip, you can open the Inspector and add color adjustment. There's a large swath of adjustments you can choose from to adjust saturation, exposure, highlights, and among other things.

Color adjustments in Final Cut Pro for iPad
Color adjustments in Final Cut Pro for iPad


For Mac useres though, there is a full color board and much more granular control. We'd be fine doing basic color grading but professional color grading will require a different application.

The same goes for object tracking. There's keyframe animation on iPad, but object tracking is a no-go.

Compatibility with the latest iPads

Apple has packed a lot of pro features into Final Cut Pro for iPad. Features like multi-cam support, color grading, and automatic background removal without a chromakey backdrop.

To pull these off, it needs powerful silicon on the inside. That means only select iPads can run Final Cut Pro.

Final Cut Pro requires an M1 or M2 processor to run, meaning only the latest-generation iPad Air or the 5th and 6th-generation iPad Pro models.

Other latest-generation iPads such as the 6th-gen iPad mini won't support Final Cut Pro.

iPad-exclusive features

Despite lacking some notable features, Apple has bestowed Final Cut Pro for iPad with some tablet-specific features that the full-size version omits.

Apple Pencil with Final Cut Pro for iPad
Apple Pencil with Final Cut Pro for iPad


You can easily use Apple Pencil to hover across the timeline to preview where you tap, a touchscreen-friendly jog wheel slides out from the side to allow easier control, and you can write directly on your video to add handwritten titles.

Camera app in Fianl Cut Pro for iPad
Camera app in Fianl Cut Pro for iPad


One of the best iPad-exclusive features is the pro camera mode. You can capture professional-quality footage directly from Final Cut Pro and bring it into your project.

The pro camera includes audio and time monitoring, manual controls for aspects like white balance and exposure, and it can be captured in Apple ProRes when using the latest iPad Pros.

It's clear Apple has big ambitions for Final Cut Pro on iPad and the initial release has a lot of impressive offerings. Hopefully, future updates will fill in some of the remaining gaps.

Read on AppleInsider
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 23
    hammeroftruthhammeroftruth Posts: 1,232member
    Reminds me of the first version of FC. A lot of editors hated it and said Avid and Adobe was better and Apple should have never acquired it from Macromedia. 

    It’s going to take some time to mature on iPad and right now it’s still more of a concept and something to play with until all of the issues the author has pointed out gets resolved. How quickly depends on how fast Apple motivates the 3rd party devs. 
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 23
    riclfriclf Posts: 12member
    Why would a Final Cut Pro user go to an iPad to do their work, in any case? They already own a MacBook Pro, and its a rock'n setup, so what's the impetus to want to slip over to an iPad? The touch screen? Is there anything else?  Apple, when are you going to stop producing new emojis, and make all our MacBooks touch screen. Don't fear comparisons to Win machines, just DO IT!
    williamlondon9secondkox2Dooofus
  • Reply 3 of 23
    VermelhoVermelho Posts: 56member
    riclf said:
    Why would a Final Cut Pro user go to an iPad to do their work, in any case? They already own a MacBook Pro,
    I’m a desktop user of FCP (since v1 was released), and I’d love to go iPad to rough cut and demo work in the field.  
    Not mentioned here is media storage & management. I guess a compact usb-c ssd would be the way to wrangle some multicam 4k footage, but the files app is woeful for the project & media organization the way I like to work.
    williamlondonwatto_cobradewme
  • Reply 4 of 23
    With plug-ins stated to be included later, it makes me wonder if there’s something coming in iPadOS 17 that’s going to allow for it along with more features. These existing gives me the gut feeling that there’s something major coming in the next OS
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 23
    ITGUYINSDITGUYINSD Posts: 474member
    "What's a computer?" says the old Apple ad...it's the device with full features software and storage.
    edited May 23 9secondkox2watto_cobraspheric
  • Reply 6 of 23
    alshainalshain Posts: 1member
    riclf said:
    Apple, when are you going to stop producing new emojis, and make all our MacBooks touch screen. Don't fear comparisons to Win machines, just DO IT!
    What I want is an iPad that runs MacOS. It seems like such a waste of time to develop cut-down versions of pro apps when the hardware is perfectly capable of running the original app and OS. I’d guess that most of the time, people working in a pro app on an iPad will also have a Magic Keyboard attached anyway.

    Oh, but MacOS doesn’t have an interface that can manage windows in a touch screen environment…oh wait, it does, and it’s called Stage Manager and it works perfectly adequately on Macs — better than on iPad (i.e. without showstopping bugs). It seems Apple is hellbent on Stage Manager bringing iOS closer to MacOS, but why not go the other way around?
    williamlondonwatto_cobramuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 7 of 23
    williamlondonwilliamlondon Posts: 1,183member
    Don't be thankful it's come to the iPad, instead criticise it for not having everything day 1.
    dewmechasmRudeBoyRudyspheric
  • Reply 8 of 23
    9secondkox29secondkox2 Posts: 1,910member
    riclf said:
    Why would a Final Cut Pro user go to an iPad to do their work, in any case? They already own a MacBook Pro, and it’s a rock'n setup, so what's the impetus to want to slip over to an iPad? The touch screen? Is there anything else?  Apple, when are you going to stop producing new emojis, and make all our MacBooks touch screen. Don't fear comparisons to Win machines, just DO IT!
    Agreed. A much better solution than making iPad more like Mac. And don’t have to subscribe to software you should own. 
  • Reply 9 of 23
    9secondkox29secondkox2 Posts: 1,910member
    Don't be thankful it's come to the iPad, instead criticise it for not having everything day 1.
    It’s a legit criticism. As is the subscription model. 
    muthuk_vanalingamDooofus
  • Reply 10 of 23
    hammeroftruthhammeroftruth Posts: 1,232member
    Don't be thankful it's come to the iPad, instead criticise it for not having everything day 1.
    It’s a legit criticism. As is the subscription model. 
    It’s weird how they thought not having the same important features as the Mac version would make pros use it rather than keeping it under wraps until they release it fully compatible with the Mac and 3rd party
    plug ins. 

    Subscriptions should die and the market should revert back to paying for upgrades or not upgrading and keeping the software you paid for functional. If the fucking EU really cared about the consumer, they could have brought this issue up instead of trying to break open the walled garden, and lining their pockets with cash after “fining” Apple. 

    entropyswilliamlondonDooofus
  • Reply 11 of 23
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,378member
    I think some people need to step back and look at at the number upgrade FCP for the Mac is at before getting out of sync at the features that aren’t included here (yet). Just getting this done was a big job. Getting it done right was important. Getting the features needed most for the people this is really aimed at is important. Who is that? Well, we’ve already been reading it - creators.

    there might be 300,000 people around the world who will use FCB. Oh, we can go crazy and say 500,000. If we look at that number and multiply it by $300, we get $150 million. That’s lifetime sales for those individuals, or companies. How many will buy in a year? Much less than that. Far less.

    but now, with this there is, I’ve read, an estimated audience, around the world, of about 10 MILLION people. Potentially, that means $50 per year times that number, giving $500 mIllion a YEAR! Potentially.

    which market is Apple now looking at with this? Then there is the potential of iPad sales as a result. I would imagine that Apple has looked at the numbers and decided that 10 million creators outweighs a few hundred thousand high end pros, pros who will buy once and get all those expensive upgrades for free. Is Apple making money on that? I’m thinking it’s doubtful. I also think Apple made a mistake in not continuing to charge for upgrades. It’s why a subscription is more desirable for them. They can get paid for all the work they do every year. After all engineers have to get paid.

    and that leads us to the creator oriented features they’ve added, while not (yet) adding some more pro features the desktop version has.
    dewme
  • Reply 12 of 23
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,378member
    Don't be thankful it's come to the iPad, instead criticise it for not having everything day 1.
    It’s a legit criticism. As is the subscription model. 
    No, it really isn’t. First, I don’t understand people who think that software that’s been developed over maybe 15 years can be duplicated in the first version for another platform, even if their OS is similar. It can’t be. It takes several iterations. At least.

    the subscription model is a good one, even though some people look at the one time price and think “free” evermore. Yeah, I think Apple made a mistake with software that they don’t charge even a nominal upgrade fee for. How much did the original apps cost to develop? How much does it cost every year to develop, and support, let’s not forget that. And they don’t get paid for it.

    why do some programs from developers fade after some time when there are no upgrade fees? Because they can’t afford to continue working on something complex that they are getting less money for from new buyers than it costs them to stay in business.

    this is simple economics people, even if you don’t like it. $5 a month that you can turn on and off at will is a fantastic bargain. $50 a year is as well, if you use it a lot. Six years to get to $300. A lot longer if you use it sporadically and pay for it sporadically. How can you logically complain about that? And remember, Apple can raise that $300 any time they like, and even begin charging upgrade fees, like most other companies.
    bestkeptsecretdewme
  • Reply 13 of 23
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,378member
    Don't be thankful it's come to the iPad, instead criticise it for not having everything day 1.
    It’s a legit criticism. As is the subscription model. 
    It’s weird how they thought not having the same important features as the Mac version would make pros use it rather than keeping it under wraps until they release it fully compatible with the Mac and 3rd party
    plug ins. 

    Subscriptions should die and the market should revert back to paying for upgrades or not upgrading and keeping the software you paid for functional. If the fucking EU really cared about the consumer, they could have brought this issue up instead of trying to break open the walled garden, and lining their pockets with cash after “fining” Apple. 

    You’re not getting it.
    RudeBoyRudydewme
  • Reply 14 of 23
    riclf said:
    Why would a Final Cut Pro user go to an iPad to do their work, in any case? They already own a MacBook Pro, and it’s a rock'n setup, so what's the impetus to want to slip over to an iPad? The touch screen? Is there anything else?  Apple, when are you going to stop producing new emojis, and make all our MacBooks touch screen. Don't fear comparisons to Win machines, just DO IT!
    Not every iPad user has a Mac Book Pro or even a  Mac. The iPad outsells the Mac 2:1. So it is a much bigger market than the Mac is. 

    Not every FCP user has a Mac Book Pro. This gives them another portable option. 

    This last one is really going to blow your mind.  The team the works on emojis isn’t the same team that does hardware engineering for Macs. 

    Don’t fear critical thought, just DO IT!
    dewmeMisterKitroundaboutnow
  • Reply 15 of 23
    bloggerblogbloggerblog Posts: 2,396member
    riclf said:
    Why would a Final Cut Pro user go to an iPad to do their work, in any case? They already own a MacBook Pro, and it’s a rock'n setup, so what's the impetus to want to slip over to an iPad? The touch screen? Is there anything else?  Apple, when are you going to stop producing new emojis, and make all our MacBooks touch screen. Don't fear comparisons to Win machines, just DO IT!

    Not every FCP user has a Mac Book Pro. This gives them another portable option. 


    Actually until today every FCP user did necessarily own a Mac or MBP.
    ITGUYINSDmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 16 of 23
    bestkeptsecretbestkeptsecret Posts: 4,230member
    I think most of these concerns will be addressed over (a short period) of time. It is unrealistic to expect that all third party plug-ins and first party transitions, fonts, etc., will be available from day one.

    The projected idea behind subscription models is continuous development and frequent new features. I think the subscription model will be an incentive to Apple to ensure that features are regularly added and updated.

    I am on the fence, mainly because I do video editing just for fun. The subscription model made me think twice before buying FCP. However, I will try it out for a month and if it makes sense for me, I'll go ahead and subscribe.

    The big news is that FCP and Logic Pro are finally available on the iPad! All initial kinks will be ironed out soon enough.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 17 of 23
    sirdirsirdir Posts: 154member
    Both background removal and green screen keying barely work 
    williamlondonDooofus
  • Reply 18 of 23
    dewmedewme Posts: 4,864member
    It takes a lot of effort and discipline to get a new product to market. If you were to leave the decision of when to ship solely to the engineers the product would probably never ship because it’s not “perfect.” Well, no product is ever perfect, even ones that you only pay for one time. But many less-than-perfect products, especially ones that are continuously in development and refinement, are still very viable and useful and can deliver value to both the maker and the buyer. 

    There’s nothing in the description of FCP for iPad that renders it not viable or not useful for many customers in its current state. Releasing it under a subscription model is actually far more considerate than releasing it with a one-time price tag. If you’re only paying for it one time there is a greater expectation that it’s “complete” because you’re paying for the whole thing up-front. If you don’t like it you’re out the full purchase price or you get into arguments with the maker to fix it to make it complete. If the maker says they will fix it by adding what is missing, but will charge you again via an upgrade fee, does that really make you feel any better? I suppose if you don’t really need what’s in the upgrade you can save some money, but then you have to deal with possible support issues and your own FOMO.

    The subscription model is in some ways an admission by the maker that the product is not fully complete at any time and will be continually refined over time. It also places pressure on the maker to keep their subscribers happy by adding new features over time. If the maker doesn’t keep adding new features and refinement then the subscription becomes a tax. Product makers and the engineers behind them get no satisfaction from being tax collectors.

    Subscribers have the freedom of leaving at any time and for any reason. If the product fails to meet their initial expectations they are only losing what they’ve already paid for, which is probably a lot less than a one-time-purchase price. If the buyer no longer needs the product to perform their work, say a contractor, they can drop it when it’s no longer needed. For buyers whose blood pressure spikes every time a pay-for upgrade announcement hits their inbox (hello Parallels customers) the subscription provides assurance that they always have the latest and greatest version of the product. 

    One thing that may be an advantage for one-time software purchases is the buyer’s ability to sell the product when it’s no longer needed. This salvage value may be appropriate for some products, but for a lot of others there may not be a lot of buyers for outdated versions of products unless they are upgradeable to the latest version for far less than the cost of the new version.

    When products I’ve worked on transitioned from the one-time purchase model to the subscription model, business customers were totally on board with it because it kept them in the support model and they always had the latest and greatest and didn’t have to mess around with upgrades. For businesses it seemed easier for them to deal with subscriptions rather than purchases, perhaps because of the way they manage capital expenses. In any case, pushback was nonexistent. 


    edited May 24 muthuk_vanalingamwilliamlondon
  • Reply 19 of 23
    auxioauxio Posts: 2,578member
    melgross said:
    It’s a legit criticism. As is the subscription model. 

    the subscription model is a good one, even though some people look at the one time price and think “free” evermore. Yeah, I think Apple made a mistake with software that they don’t charge even a nominal upgrade fee for. How much did the original apps cost to develop? How much does it cost every year to develop, and support, let’s not forget that. And they don’t get paid for it.

    why do some programs from developers fade after some time when there are no upgrade fees? Because they can’t afford to continue working on something complex that they are getting less money for from new buyers than it costs them to stay in business.
    This. I worked for a company during the transition from unlimited free software with a single hardware purchase to a subscription model and the arguments we heard from people on why we should continue supporting them forever (often on a 10+ year old purchase) were pretty crazy. Zero understanding of any perspective except their own entitlement.

    That said, the tricky part is when the software becomes completely unusable if they don't continue the subscription. We didn't go that route, they just lost access to all online content and features and received no upgrades, but then they received the software with a hardware purchase. I think it would be good to offer both options if possible: pay a large amount up front if you want to use the software perpetually (but only receive support for so long), or pay a smaller amount per month/year and the software stops working once you stop paying.
  • Reply 20 of 23
    Can you zoom in and out of a still photo, or pan across a still photo?  Thanks!
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