Chapter 22. iMovie for iOS Photos

Not everything in a movie has to move. Sometimes a nicely placed photo tells the best story. In an iMovie for iOS project, you can use any photo that you take with or sync to your device.

However, if you’re accustomed to iMovie for the Mac, don’t expect the same photo versatility in iMovie for iOS; you’re limited in certain frustrating ways. For example, you can’t use cutaway, picture-in-picture, or side-by-side effects, nor can you apply photo effects, like making an image appear black and white. (You can, however, edit a photo in something else first, like iPhoto for iOS.) Finally, and most frustratingly, you can add only one photo at a time to your timeline. That makes assembling a slideshow of 100 photographs in iMovie for iOS unrealistic.


iPhoto for iOS has a perfectly capable slideshow tool of its own. Consider trying that app instead to create a quick slideshow.

That said, all the basic photo-editing tasks are here. You can rotate and zoom in on a photo, add a title, and change its duration. This chapter covers all the ways you can use photos in iMovie for iOS.

The Photo Library

What photos does iMovie use? The short answer is all the ones on your device. You can see them using the Photos app on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch.


Lots of other apps can snap and edit pictures. If you want to shoot or edit an image that you can use in iMovie, be sure that the app stores and retrieves photos to and from your Camera Roll.

But you don’t need to ...

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