How to quickly trim video on Mac and iOS

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How to quickly trim videos on Mac and iOS
Editing your video clips will make them way less boring.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

The secret of a good movie is in the editing. Well, the script, the lightning, the directing, the photography, and the acting are all important, but for home movies, you have little control over those.

So it’s down to the edit. And the most basic of edits is to lop the ends off a clip, to trim video and make it shorter. Watching excessively long clips is the equivalent of a conversation with someone who can’t ever get to the point. “Let me tell you about that time I fell out of the plane. It was a Tuesday. No, I think it was Wednesday. Wait, it must have been a Tuesday because …”

It’s painful. So, do yourself a favor and trim your video clips. Even if you’re not planning on combining your edits into a short movie, you should at least remove the cruft from anything you’re going to show. The good news is that it’s dead easy to trim video on Mac and iOS.

Google Photos is getting some incredible new features

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Google Photos sharing
Sharing have never been easier.
Photo: Google

Google Assistant may have just made its way to iPhone, but it’s not even close to the most exciting thing to come out of Google I/O today.

That would be all of the incredible new features coming to Google Photos, including new sharing options, stunning Photo Books you can build in just a few taps, intelligent photo editing, and Google Lens integration.

Everything that’s new in Final Cut Pro X 10.3

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Final Cut Editing
Apple packs a ton of updates into the new FCPX.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

If you watched the most recent Mac media event, you already got a preview of Final Cut X — thanks to the on-stage demo showing how it worked in conjunction with the MacBook Pro’s new Touch Bar. But there’s a whole lot more to the Final Cut Pro 10.3 update than that.

To check out what you’ll find in the latest update for Apple’s video-editing software, check out our comprehensive video below.

Use free Snapseed on iPad to tune your photos to best effect

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Snapseed lets you tune up your photos with ease.
Snapseed lets you tune up your photos with ease.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Snapseed is a free image editing app from Google that has some fantastic editing tools to make any photo even better.

The killer feature here is the set of Tune Image tools that let you take a good photo and turn it into a great photo, right on your iPad, with very little effort.

Here’s a quick intro to these fantastic tools and how to make them tune your photos to best effect.

Leave Instagram behind with AfterLight’s massive toolset

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You'll be the envy of all your Instagram buddies with AfterLight's amazing set of tools.
You'll be the envy of all your Instagram buddies with AfterLight's amazing set of tools.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Instagram has a fair amount of filters, but boy everyone uses them all the time. You know a photo’s come from the photo-sharing social network when you can call out the filters on it: X-Pro, Hefe, Clarendon!

If you’re looking to stand out from the crowd, check out AfterLight, a sweetly-priced iOS app for iPad (and iPhone) with over 74 amazing filters and effects (and that’s just the free ones) to make your photos the envy of all the other basic Instagram users out there.

Here’s how to make best use of AfterLight’s massive toolset.

How to make your photos pop with VSCO on iPad

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VSCO on iPad is a fantastic, free option for photo editing.
VSCO on iPad is a fantastic, free option for photo editing.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

VSCO is a fantastic photo app for iPhone and iPad, and it lets you shoot some killer photos as well as edit them directly in the same app once you’ve taken your masterpiece.

The app is universal, which means it works well on iPhone and iPad, natively. The extra screen real estate, however, makes VCSO on iPad a fantastic choice just for editing any photos you like, whether you took them with your iPad, iPhone, or any other camera you might have.

Here’s how.

How to speed up slo-mo videos on your iPhone

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Dogs are good for slo-mo video.
Dogs are good for slo-mo video.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Your iPhone’s slo-mo function is a ton of fun to use when you’re taking action video of yourself or your buddies as you ski down mountains and base-jump off cliffs. If you’ve got an iPhone 5s or later, you know the joy of capturing all the action in a much slower timeframe and then using it to make fun of the faces your friends make when doing extreme sports.

But what if you want to un-slow all that down, maybe to focus less on the funny faces and more on the fast action?

It’s pretty simple to do, though you might not notice how at first. Here’s how to speed up the slo-mo videos you’ve taken with your iPhone.

5 super-quick iPhoto tips to make your photos even better

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Don't overlook this great bit of free software for your photos. Photo: Stephen Smith/Cult of Mac
Don't overlook this great bit of free software for your photos. Photo: Stephen Smith/Cult of Mac

iPhoto is a free download for everyone these days, making it a basic bit of kit for anyone dealing with the deluge of photographic data we seem to collect. Still, it’s often overlooked by the best of us because of its limitations.

That’s unfortunate, because the simple program offers some pretty useful features that can quickly let you get on with enjoying your photos rather than tweaking them.

Here are five simple tips for using Apple’s built-in photo “shoebox,” letting you make your photos better and more organized even more quickly.

How to use two powerful tools to collaborate on writing projects

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scrivener
Literature... and latte. Photo illustration Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

 

These days you can easily share data and collaborate on almost anything, from Rdio playlists to photo streams. But when it comes to plain old written text, your options are terrible. You’re pretty much caught between working on a shared file in Google Docs or shuttling versions of your work back and forth via email. Add more than one collaborator and this becomes a total nightmare.

Thankfully, tools exist to smooth the process of collaborating on writing projects. I’m currently editing the second draft of a novella, and I’m looking for a way to work with “beta” readers. I’m testing several pieces of software, and so far one called Draft is in the lead. Not only does it let you share a document with other people, it lets the team comment on any part of the source document and also allows them to edit a copy. Then, when they submit their versions, you can preview any changes before accepting or rejecting them.

Better still, because Draft can sync with a document in Dropbox (as well as several other cloud services), you can sync the edits from your beta team with a local app, like Scrivener. Here’s what you need to make the collaborative magic happen.