One of the cool new features of the Apple iPhone 3GS is the ability to take videos. Nice, but I can’t figure out how to get to the video camera? I know how to take photos, though, so I figure it’s related to the iPhone camera (rather obviously, eh?) I have also heard that you can edit the video right there on the iPhone, but I don’t believe it. I mean, isn’t the screen too darn small?
Lucky for you I just went through the hassle of upgrading from an Apple iPhone 3G to an Apple iPhone 3GS (as documented here: How to sell something on Craigslist). Alright, it wasn’t that much hassle when I bought the new phone for $399 and sold the old within 12 hours for $300. Was it worth $99 to get the newest Apple iPhone? I think so.
And one reason for that is the ability to now take simple – rudimentary – videos and even trim them on the fly. Yeah, you can’t edit the videos, per se, but you can chop out the tedious beginning where nothing’s happening and the last few seconds where you’re shaking the phone trying to tap the stop recording button.
Let me demonstrate…
First off, you’re already familiar with these two friendly icons:
The left icon is to access the pictures – and movies – you’ve previously recorded or sync’d up from your computer, and the right icon is to get to the camera.
Tap on the camera icon and you’ll see something like this:
This should look fairly familiar, except for the lower right corner: that slider switch lets you flip between taking photos and recording videos. Tap and drag the little indicator to the right, towards the movie camera icon.
Now the screen is just subtly different:
To start recording, tap on the red button on the bottom of the screen.
As you’re recording your video you’ll see a running time counter on the top right:
When you’re done tap the red button on the bottom again and now, when you look through your photos (easily done by tapping on the Photos icon on your main screen, of course, as shown earlier), you’ll see the video shown thusly:
Tap on the white triangle in the middle of the screen to start the video replay.
What you want to see, however, is how to trim the front and back of the video. It’s pretty slick the way Apple did this, actually, considering the screen size and capabilities of the phone.
If you tap anywhere on the video other than the white triangle in the middle, you’ll bring up all the controls:
This is no different to a photo, of course, where you tap and get the ability to delete it, step to the next photo, start a slide show, and email it to your Mom.
The big difference, however, is the little video control strip along the top. What it’s showing you are individual frames in the video, and the white vertical bar indicates where in the video we’re now located.
To trim the ending point of a video, that is, to end it a bit earlier, simply tap and drag the right edge of the video strip control:
As you can see, now that I’ve moved the edge, a “Trim” button has also appeared.
You can also trim the starting point of the video in exactly the same manner:
And here’s a handy tip: if you’re going to be trimming your video, flip the phone 90-degrees and you’ll find that it is a bit easier to work with:
When you’re done trimming and are happy with what you’ve edited, tap on the “Trim” button and you’ll instantly have a trimmed down video, ready to email, upload to YouTube, or just show off to your friends.
Oh, and how to do that? Tap on the box with an arrow coming out of it on the lower left corner of the screen and…
Neato, eh? Kudos to Apple for making it so easy to record and tweak your videos. Expect lots of cool third-party video editing (and titling!) apps to come out soon too.