As we covered when the long-anticipated news of Final Cut Pro finally coming to iPad finally broke the other day, there are certainly questions as to who might benefit from this new tablet-based NLE. We can pencil in various on-the-go creatives for sure, and those looking to combine forces with Apple’s new Logic Pro for iPad as well.

But for professional video editors who are currently using Premiere Pro or DaVinci Resolve, will this move the needle? 


To further explore this question, let’s take a more in-depth look into everything you need to know about Final Cut Pro on iPad, including how this new touchscreen-based editing app actually performs without the usual comforts of your usual desktop or laptop setup.

Drag-and-Drop Functions

So, at first glance, the best usability for Final Cut Pro on iPad seems to be centered around drag-and-drop functionality. The layout looks quite similar to the current layout of FCP on a desktop or laptop, but without the aid of a two-click mouse, you’re obviously going to have to get creative with how you move things around.

With any touch-based system, there are going to be some pros and cons. In some ways, it’s certainly more intuitive to just put your finger on something to select a clip or open a window. On the other hand, if you’re looking to drag and drop something, you better hope your finger doesn’t come off the screen for a second, or else you’re dropping clips or effects onto the wrong timeline.

Still, speaking personally, I’m actually quite looking forward to exploring this new Final Cut Pro with as open of a mind as possible. Apple, of course, has a great track record for intuitive design, and there’s something to say about the child-like intuitiveness they often give to their products. So I can see using my hands to feel my way around this new FCP should be quite fun to figure out.

Live_drawingLive Drawing will certainly offer some cool possibilitiesCredit: Apple

Live Drawing

Now, one of the biggest selling points from Apple’s early marketing for this new iPad Final Cut Pro has to do with their new Live Drawing feature. Which, while cool for sure, might not be the killer function they’re making it out to be, I’d think. Sure, it will be quite helpful if you’re looking to create a fun little title effect for one of your videos. But I can’t imagine many situations outside of that where you’ll want to hand-write or draw any pencil-style effects onto your videos.

You can see this Live Drawing feature in action in this video review below:

However, in reality, the Apple Pencil (which retails at around $99) is most likely going to be a glorified stylus that can open up some more finite click and drag controls which our stubby fingers might struggle with. Still, there might be more to this which we can eventually explore when we get our hands on a version here soon.

Other New Intuitive Controls

Outside of the Live Drawing and the basic touch-base setup, there are actually quite a bit of new features and tools which are worth mentioning and exploring. From the first promo images, we see that there are some play and jog wheel controls, which should aid a bit with using this touchscreen format, similar to what we’ve seen in the past on iPads and iPhones to help give more mouse and keyboard-like options.

While we can go even more in-depth into some of these new additions to Final Cut Pro once the full version is released, it’s also interesting to note that this new Final Cut Pro for iPad will feature plenty of new features which the current desktop version of FCP doesn’t currently have. From new title templates, effects, and soundtracks, as well as some iPad-specific tweaks for HDR, multi-cam editing, auto-crop, and fast cut automation. There’s going to be a lot under the hood worth exploring, that's for sure. 

Still, I like this take on the new iPad FCP release too, which goes over some more info, but with a bit more trepidation.

Is It Worth the $50 per Year Subscription?

At the end of the day, though, it’s a bit interesting that this new Final Cut Pro for iPad offering will come with its own price point and subscription. If it turns out the Apple Pencil and perhaps the Apple Keyboard are both necessities as well, this FCP will certainly be at a moderate price point.

What makes the subscription model even more confusing is that DaVinci Resolve on iPad is already an amazing tool. And there's a robust free option (with the Studio upgrade costing only $95). It's a bold move from Apple, to say the least, but we'll have to reserve judgment until we can test both suites side by side. We received a Beta version of FCP, so stay tuned for that!

This new Final Cut Pro will be available for download on May 23rd. Until then, feel free to let us know your thoughts on what sounds exciting and what might make you nervous about this bold new venture from Apple.

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