Final Cut Pro for iPad: What’s NEW compared to the Mac version?

So I got my hands on Final Cut Pro for iPad, and here’s everything that you need to know on how it transforms the iPad into a very powerful editing machine, especially with the new and unique features that the app has which the Mac desktop version does not!

So yes, Apple has finally answered all the naysayers about how the iPad, especially the iPad Pro, isn’t a “Pro” device by including these two most popular apps for the MacBook – which is Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro and for someone who lives and breathes Final Cut Pro every day, probably more than I should… This was the app that I was eager to test out first! But stay tuned for a dedicated video on Logic Pro on the iPad that will be coming soon in this channel as well.

All right, just for context, I’m currently using the 12.9-inch M2 iPad Pro with 2TB of storage and it is the Wi-Fi and the Cellular model.

Now, I have been shooting all of my videos on a 6K resolution on Blackmagic RAW and then converting those files to ProRes 422 to take advantage of the ProRes encoding and engines on the M2 chipset. Then my audio is recorded separately, hence I usually sync it in Final Cut Pro either automatically or sometimes manually. 

And with that, let’s see how the workflow is on the iPad and how is it different from the MacBook version.



Now, firstly, let’s look at the interface. Overall, it does look like a simplified version of the desktop Final Cut Pro X; hence it doesn’t look cluttered and it is more intuitive for holding the iPad with two hands as well. But of course, there are many versatile ways for you to use the iPad Pro.


You find all the essential tools like the Inspector button, where you’ll find it towards the bottom left. In there, you’ll find the format settings like the Clip Speed. 

Next is the Transform tab for scaling or positioning and Scale to Fill, which I use a lot to scale my footage accordingly since I have a wider-than-usual aspect ratio.

Then under the Audio tab, you’ll find all the perfect essentials like Volume Offset, Panning, Fading In and Fading Out, and other Enhancements like Voice Isolation (which is really good), Loudness, and also Noise Removal as well.

And here’s where you can also add audio effects for important essentials like the Single Band EQ and a very useful Compressor to enhance the overall audio.

Then finally, there’s the Effects Tab and here’s where you can add the color adjustment, and yes, you can turn on the Videos Scope like the desktop version by going into the Video Option just below the Viewer Monitor.

And the options of the Scopes are as per usual we can choose between Waveform, Vectorscope, and Histogram as well.

In this Viewer Option, you can toggle between the Full Screen mode and Picture-in-picture as well.

Then you can also change the Viewer Background, changing the Playback from Performance to Quality, similar like the desktop version of Final Cut Pro. And finally, activating the Guides and Rulers too.

Then towards the top, at the middle of the app, there’s the Import button to import the files from either photos or files. There is also the built-in Pro Camera app button over there and using the Apple Pencil, which I’ll go deeper later on. And there’s the Export button to export the video, either the full video, audio only, the current frame, and the Final Cut Pro for iPad project files, for you to continue on editing on the desktop version of Final Cut Pro.

Then towards the upper right, there’s the Undo and Redo button, and the Project Media for you to view all the imported media files.

Next are all the Presets for Effects, such as the Video and Audio and there are other presets like Transitions, Titles, Backgrounds, Objects, and the NEW Soundtracks with music according to themes, like Chill, Driving, and more. Then there’s the NEW Jog Wheel toggle, which I’ll go deeper into later as well. 


Then finally, there’s the option to check out the user guide, video tutorials, and more.

Next, going down towards the middle right, there are the Timeline Options for Snapping and Position Behaviors and the overall Appearance for the Clip Height adjustments and Audio Metering too. Then towards the left of that, you can toggle the Position and Snapping.

Then the “i” icon is to view the Project Info and towards the left, you’ll find the Select options to choose between Edge and Range, like how you would find in the desktop app and Key Framing as well.

Then below that, there’s the whole entire Timeline Editing as per usual. Then next to the Inspector button, there’s the volume, animate and the multicam toggle if you’re editing a multicam setup.



All right, let’s take a look at the various control options for this iPad version of Final Cut Pro. 

Touch Controls

Now, the first and most obvious way to control it is through its touchscreen,  which is probably why you want Final Cut Pro on the iPad. And the good news is that everything from selecting, scrolling through the timeline was super seamless and very responsive indeed, and features like pinch-to-zoom also works to zoom in and zoom out from the timeline as well.


Apple Pencil

Speaking of responsiveness, the Apple Pencil is also the second and very unique way to navigate through the app, so if you’re using the Apple Pencil as your primary navigating tool, you’ll find it pretty much at home using the Apple Pencil on this version of Final Cut Pro. And yes, the Apple Pencil Hover feature is also available over here, so you can easily hover over the timeline and move through the project without actually tapping on the display.


Magic Keyboard

Then finally, there’s the Magic Keyboard, which to me is as close as you can get to a desktop experience, with the trackpad allowing you to move around the timeline; you can also pinch and zoom over here and use keyboard shortcuts like J, K and L for playback, Command + or Command – to zoom in and zoom out from the Timeline, Command B to split or cut the clips. 

And speaking of keyboard shortcuts, you can see all the keyboard shortcuts available on the iPad by pressing and holding the Command button.


What’s New?

Okay, now let’s talk about what’s new and unique of this version of Final Cut Pro. 

Pro Camera Mode

Now, first is the new Pro Camera mode which you can turn it on by selecting the top middle of the app as mentioned earlier, and here’s where it transforms the iPad into a professional video-taking device, with all the manual controls where firstly, you can see how much recording time that you have, and you can choose the different recording resolution and frame rates towards the top left. 

Then below that, you can switch between the main 1x zoom to the ultrawide lens, toggle autofocus or manual focus, and there’s the audio meter down below.

Then towards the right, you can adjust the White Balance to either Auto or manually to different color temperatures, adjust the exposure values, turn on the camera’s flash, switch to the front camera. 

Then the red button is obviously to record. Then finally you can choose to toggle Slo-Mo and the video mode as well.

Now speaking of video recording, if you take videos on Cinematic mode on your iPhone, you can even adjust the shallow depth of field over in your timeline as well. 


Live Drawing

Then another thing which is new and unique is the Live Drawing mode where not only you’ll be able to draw on your video with the Apple Pencil but because it’s called Live Drawing, it will also create an animation of what you drew and this would be super beneficial if you’re the kind of person who loves to use the Apple Pencil to draw, so the creativeness on this is endless based on your capabilities, so now you don’t have to use Adobe After Effects to do any sort of a drawing style animation, which is a huge win over here, since it’s very effortless.

This Live Drawing feature can be found next to the Pro Camera mode button.


Jog Wheel

Next, the Jog Wheel is also something new and very unique, it’s like having the Blackmagic Speed Editor but from a digital perspective. Now I can use this jog wheel to select a clip and jog the wheel slowly to really create precise cuts, which to me was something new but extremely useful, and I think it will be for you as well, where you can easily place it anywhere around your screen.


Scene Removal Mask

Then there are other new features that is not available natively on the desktop version, like the Scene Removal Mask, which is under the Effects Video Browser, where you can effortlessly remove the subject from the background on video not typically on photo and then replace it with a different background easily.

And of course, there are many other effects, transitions, titles, backgrounds, objects, and soundtracks, where these soundtracks not only give you different music styles as mentioned earlier, but you can also adjust it according to your timeline to get a proper retime adjustment according to the duration of your video. And yes, all of these are new and unique for this iPad’s version of Final Cut Pro.


Auto Crop

Then finally, there’s the Auto Crop feature which intelligently adjusts and crops the footage for you to keep the subject right in the middle.



So that’s the walkthrough and what’s NEW and UNIQUE about this iPad Pro’s version of Final Cut Pro. Now if you’re wondering if I’m going to be subscribing to this Final Cut Pro for iPad, that is a resounding YES, as I will look at this iPad Pro as the starting point for all of my video editing. And of course, the amazing portability as it will be a super quick way of video editing through all the touch controls and many more as mentioned.

Now since there are no official third-party plugins like from the creators at MotionVFX to create a dedicated Final Cut Pro for iPad plugins yet, so as of now, I’m gonna do as much as I can on the iPad Pro before continuing the project on my MacBook Pro, from the iPad Pro to the MacBook Pro.

But keep in mind that you cannot start a project on the MacBook and then continue on the iPad. Hopefully, there will be a software update that will allow this. But in the meantime, stay tuned for my Logic Pro on the iPad coming soon which I plan to record and edit fully on the iPad Pro!

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