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May 6, 2017

How to use Apple Clips: The perfect video app for your social feeds

by John_A

The Apple Clips app specializes in making video clips, ones specifically designed to be shared on social media. You are probably already familiar with Stories on Facebook and Instagram, but Apple Clips separates these into a standalone app that is more powerful and easier to use. Apple’s app creates videos that are square, which is perfect for sharing on a social media timeline.

As per usual with Apple’s proprietary apps, however, Clips doesn’t come with an instruction manual. Even though it is pretty intuitive, there may be some things that aren’t readily obvious. To help, we’ve prepared an easy-to-follow guide so you can jump straight into making awesome clips.

The interface

how to use apple clips

When you open Clips for the first time, it will default to video. Apple wants you to make small video clips that will be stitched together at the end. If you’ve ever shared a story on Facebook or Instagram, then you’re already familiar with this concept. It doesn’t matter what you share, whether it be a video or photo, you have to hold the big red button to record it. Once you’ve finished recording, Clips will add it to the timeline. You can choose to record a video, take a photo, or add a video or photo from your library. Regardless of what you add, you have to hold the red button to record it, and tell Clips for how long to play the video or showcase the photo.

Directly right of the big red button, you can select either the front-facing camera or the primary camera on the back of your iPhone. The microphone icon is so that you can choose to record the audio or simply mute it. If you forget to mute the audio, don’t worry, you can go back and mute it later.

At the top of the app window, you will see six icons. On the very far left you have a down arrow, and if you tap this arrow, you will see all the clips you’ve previously saved. Here, you can also choose to edit them, or you can hold down the clip for a couple of seconds to delete it. Next, you will find an icon that resembles a speech bubble, and it’s called Live Tiles. The icon next to this should also be very familiar, because it is the same icon used for filters in the Photos app. Next, you will see a star icon that stands for Overlays. This section allows you to access speech bubbles, arrows, and smileys. We will look at this in more detail shortly. The last two icons are a letter “T,” short for Posters, and a music icon you can use to add background music to your clip.

The best way to understand what all these icons do is to make a short video, so let’s dig in and make a clip to share on social media.

Making a clip


how to use apple clips

The first thing you should do is tap and hold the red button to record a short clip. For this example, we will say: “Hello, we are working with Apple Clips for Digital Trends.” That was easy! We have our first clip in the timeline.


The photo mode will let you take a photo, with or without flash, using your phone’s front-facing or rear camera. Keep in mind that the photo won’t be added to the timeline right away, however. After you take the photo, you’ll have to hold the red button to add the photo to the timeline. To do so, hold the red button for five seconds and then let go. The photo should now be part of the timeline, and you can drag and drop these clips anywhere you want to. If you want to start with a photo, for instance, just drag it to the start of the timeline.


Using the library is very easy, and allows you to make these clips later with videos and pictures you’ve taken during the day. Just like we did before, you select the photo or video that you want to add, and then hold the red button to add it to the timeline. How long you want the picture or video to be is up to you.

Keep in mind that any time you are holding the red record button, you can also talk to add your voice.

Even if you add a video from your library, you can still talk while you’re pressing the red button. If the original video has sound don’t worry, we will show you how to mute it in the next section.

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