Archive for May 9, 2023

Tuesday, May 9, 2023

Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro for iPad

Apple (MacRumors, Hacker News, MacStories, 9to5Mac):

Apple today unveiled Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro for iPad. Video and music creators can now unleash their creativity in new ways that are only possible on iPad. Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro for iPad bring all-new touch interfaces that allow users to enhance their workflows with the immediacy and intuitiveness of Multi-Touch. Final Cut Pro for iPad introduces a powerful set of tools for video creators to record, edit, finish, and share, all from one portable device. Logic Pro for iPad puts the power of professional music creation in the hands of the creator — no matter where they are — with a complete collection of sophisticated tools for songwriting, beat making, recording, editing, and mixing.


On iPad Pro with M2, Apple Pencil hover unlocks the ability for users to quickly skim and preview footage without ever touching the screen. They can also speed up their workflows by adding a Magic Keyboard or Smart Keyboard Folio to utilize key commands.


Editors can import supported media from Files or Photos, and save it directly inside a Final Cut Pro project. Final Cut Pro for iPad also supports the ability to import projects created in iMovie for iOS, and iPad users can export their Final Cut Pro projects to Mac.


Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro for iPad will each be available on the App Store for $4.99 (US) per month or $49 (US) per year with a one-month free trial. Final Cut Pro is compatible with M1 chip iPad models or later, and Logic Pro will be available on A12 Bionic chip iPad models or later.

This implies that the file formats are different and that you cannot just work from a shared project stored in iCloud Drive.

Dan Moren:

It’s not clear whether these apps provide full feature parity with their Mac counterparts, though Logic Pro supports full roundtrip compatibility for projects; Apple says Final Cut Pro, on the other hand, can export its projects to the Mac, though it’s less clear whether that runs in the other direction.

Matt Birchler:

I was really hoping this would involve some sort of cloud storage for projects so you could more easily work on a Mac, switch to the iPad, and then back to the Mac with all your changes synced across both versions.

Maybe down the road.

Christina Warren:

I understand what @matt is saying here but I would not trust Apple to handle the data store/sync for my production files in any capacity. It isn’t just sync, it’s making sure that the storage would be adequately managed too. Never. Absolutely never. I trust Adobe to do this (and they bought, not Apple.

Federico Viticci:

I am not going to use Logic and Final Cut for iPad myself, but Apple finally making these apps sends an important signal of commitment to the platform.

Last year’s message with Stage Manager felt confused and erratic; these highly-designed, touch-first, professional apps send a completely different message.

The optimistic take: I’m suddenly excited about iPadOS 17 again.

Matthew Cassinelli:

Final Cut and Logic on iPad isn’t just a win for iPad, it’s a win for the entire Apple app ecosystem.

Developers have proper incentive to make insanely great cross-platform apps now, and the future where you can pick up any device to solve the next step of your workflow is continuing to be built in front of us.

The message is that Apple cares about iPad software, but what does this change for developers? Are we to assume that this will be accompanied by API enhancements? Is it about the precedent of subscriptions for pro apps?

Stephen Hackett:

If these were slated for WWDC, but were kicked out of the keynote for more exciting things, June 5 may be a pretty wild day.


I think it’s best to reserve judgment until we see how these apps work in the real world, but I can’t help but worry that iPadOS will hold them back. Using professional tools like these apps require file transfers, media management, advanced audio routing and more. Those aren’t iPadOS’ strong suits, at least of today. Given that these apps are coming out in just a few weeks, before WWDC, I wonder how many of these things will be addressed in iPadOS 17 at all.

Steve Troughton-Smith:

As two huge investments in the iOS ecosystem, at the cusp of Apple’s next hardware form factor, it will be fascinating to dig into Final Cut Pro and Logic to determine the UI framework balance within — SwiftUI? UIKit? ‘ProKit’? One would expect this to be heavily based on the existing UIKit work in iMovie and Garageband, but let’s see!

Steve Troughton-Smith:

Back to the topic of M1 requirement again; three of the iPad product lines Apple currently sells on their webstore are unable to run Final Cut Pro. That’s not a great way to do software. You can spend $1100 on a brand new iPad+Pencil+Keyboard combo today that will [presumably] not let you even install the FCP app. The iMovie codebase you can be sure this was forked from supports every iPad on iPadOS 16. Not the choices I would make 🤷‍♂️

It’s odd because of the long history of current Macs being able to run just about everything. And, of course, Final Cut Pro runs on less capable Intel Macs. Maybe it’s about virtual memory, though as we discovered last year with Stage Manager, not every M1 iPad supports that.

Kevin Teljeur:

Knowing which processor sits in your iPad is very counter to the whole iPhone/iPad user experience, I would have thought, after years of training owners to not know or care.

Marcin Krzyzanowski:

Apple keep saying things like “compstible with M1 chip iPad model” but when I want to check what processor do I have, it doesn’t say a thing about it. The whole product naming around iPads is inconsistent.

Basic Apple Guy:

Aperture for iPad?


Update (2023-05-10): Yannik Bloscheck:

The subscription is also an interesting choice given that Apple Business Essentials, which is necessary to use subscriptions with managed Apple IDs for business, isn’t even available yet anywhere outside the US. So as an business outside the US I can’t even use these new professional apps trough their own business offerings.

It’s also interesting that the Mac apps aren’t included in the subscriptions.

Jason Snell:

Apple has put an enormous amount of effort into both of these apps. I really wonder what finally made Apple decide to build and ship iPad versions of these apps. (Surely it’s not a project seven years in the making!)


The moment I configured Ferrite to toggle playback on and off by using a two-finger tap gesture, my productivity soared. At an initial glance at video demonstrating these apps, I didn’t see any hint of such gestures. But if users have to reach up to the top left corner of one of these apps every time they want to pause or play a video, it will get old really fast. I hope Apple has embraced multi-touch gestures—and if they haven’t, I hope they get with the program soon.


Logic Pro appears to be more or less directly compatible. According to Apple’s press release, you can roundtrip projects back and forth between Logic on Mac and Logic on iPad without trouble. […] The only catch is that the maker of the plug-ins you rely on must make iPad versions available, or your “roundtrip” Logic project really won’t be.


Final Cut Pro for iPad seems to be a subset of the Mac version. You can start on iPad and move to Mac, but the migration won’t work the other way, and a bunch of features from the Mac just aren’t there on the iPad. […] But as someone who rarely uses those pro-level features, it’s also frustrating to realize that even my simple projects won’t be portable in case I need to leave home and run off somewhere with an iPad.

Steve Troughton-Smith:

One of the things that excites me so much about Apple’s Pro Apps on iPad is seeing the screen packed with UI — I am so tired of being given dumbed-down ‘baby’ versions of apps (see also: Photoshop for iPad). I know neither app will be at feature parity with the desktop, but it feels like they’re trying, not just ‘humoring’ iPad users they don’t really understand. iPad users don’t need to be humored, they need to be included. The form factor is scalable, up and down — your software should be too.

Unfortunately, the early years of iPad were geared towards simplistic lite software, and many of the great Mac developers of the era couldn’t find a place for their apps on the platform at that time, and have never come back.


I would love for the iWork suite on iPad to be given a UI do-over to move it back to having more elements and common controls onscreen 👀 It’s just not very fun to use anymore.

Christina Warren:

Interesting that most of the product images of FCP/Logic on iPad are on the 11” version. As an 11” iPad Pro stalwart, this pleases me.

Joe Rosensteel:

I’m a little unclear on how many of the people excited by Logic and Final Cut coming to the iPad are excited because they use those products on the Mac and are excited to use them on the iPad, and how many won’t really use them and are just excited a checkbox was checked.


Update (2023-05-12): Benjamin Mayo:

It’s been a while since Apple has released software with such craft and care, as is on display here. Without even using the apps, the screenshots stand on their own as an impressive feat. I love how these apps are sophisticated in scope whilst still highly accommodating to touch input.

Matt Birchler:

By setting the entry point to $5/month or $50/year, it lets people ease into the video and audio editing world better. After all, it’s easier to justify spending $5/month start a YouTube channel and see if you can make it, vs committing to $300 and praying you do so that you make your money back.

Update (2023-05-24): Apple:

Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro for iPad are now available on the App Store, putting the power of Apple’s pro video editing and music creation software in the palms of creators’ hands.

See also: Joe Rossignol, Juli Clover, John Voorhees, Jason Snell.

Benjamin Mayo:

“Keep Final Cut Pro open until the export is complete” This point alone would put me off using it seriously, who wants to sit there with a foregrounded progress bar for minutes at a time … and feels like a dated restriction that iPadOS n+1 could remove, in light of vram/etc

Steve Troughton-Smith:

Logic Pro for iPad packs an awful lot of UI modular, resizable UI onscreen, perfect for forthcoming larger iPads. Love to see it! Ironic, then, that it doesn’t support Stage Manager or window resizing 😅 You can put it on an external display, but you’re not going to get any more usable screen space. In fact, neither Final Cut Pro nor Logic Pro support Stage Manager 👀 I guess they couldn’t find the APIs to make it a great experience either — not just me then…

Steve Troughton-Smith:

Final Cut Pro has a fair amount of SwiftUI in the overall app, the onboarding experience, inspectors, browser etc. Much of the core editor app looks to be UIKit+ObjC/ObjC++.

Joe Rossignol:

The first reviews of Final Cut Pro for iPad were published today, providing a closer look at the touch-optimized video creation app in action.


Going Independent

Jesse Squires (Mastodon):

I am writing this for anyone who is interested in trying to go independent — either with your own app development business, solo contracting and freelancing, or both.


For me, the first year was full of learning — how to keep my books, how to deal with taxes, how to continue saving for retirement, how to structure my days, how to manage my time, how to get shit done, how to take time off, and the list goes on. Be prepared for this in your first year and do not give up. My second year was all about making refinements and optimizations to all the things I learned in year one. Finally, in my third year I started to feel like I had everything figured out — I was on autopilot and coasting through all those tasks that were previously bumps in the road. Currently, administrative tasks are a breeze, I have consistent work with long-term clients, and I am able to make time to work on my indie apps.


Unfortunately, splitting time between client work and indie projects is much easier said than done. You must prioritize what actually earns you money, which is contracting/freelancing. It is very difficult to balance both types of work when you are first getting started. […] What I have found is that it is best to allocate full days to one or the other. Each week I try to do only client work Monday through Thursday, and do indie work on Friday.

Jesse Squires (Mastodon):

When I look around the indie dev community within the broader Apple developer community, there is one characteristic that most indie devs share — they do more than just write code. There are too many indie devs that I admire to attempt to list them all here, but they are all involved in more than only writing apps. They write blogs, they speak at conferences, they produce podcasts, they are involved in open source, they publish newsletters.


In many ways, I really lucked out on the timing of my involvement in iOS development — iOS was still somewhat nascent (I started around iOS 5) and there were more opportunities back then for open source to fill-in gaps in the SDKs and improve the APIs.


When you put all of these things together, you end up with multiple positive feedback loops. Open source gives you valuable experience in programming and project management, it gives you topics to blog about, and it helps build your portfolio. Those experiences and portfolio pieces help you land competitive jobs. Blogging gives you exposure and recognition, which can help you speak at conferences. […] Speaking at conferences helps promote your open source work, blog, or podcast. Each of these contribute to building your résumé, leading to even better job prospects. Everything provides more experience to learn from and write about on your blog or present at a conference.


So far, for the past 3 years, all of my clients have come to me through friends and acquaintances — former coworkers, fellow conference speakers, folks in open source, and other people that I have met during my time in the tech industry.

Nick Heer:

These are just a few of the numerous pleasant experiences I have had with independent software developers. I cannot say the same is true of big corporate developers — not even close.


When I buy and use software from an independent developer, it feels like I am establishing a relationship with the person or small team that built it; it feels like we both have a stake in the success of the product. But when I use software made by a massive company, I can feel the power imbalance in the pit of my stomach.


Update (2023-08-17): Jesse Squires:

What you may not realize is that going indie means starting your own business. Congratulations, you are now a small business owner as far as the IRS is concerned. Don’t worry, that does not mean some sort of formal business entity is necessary (as you will see below). It only means you need to shift your thinking a bit. My goal with this post is to give you a head start on learning how to structure your business, and what to expect regarding taxes. My hope is that you can begin your journey with more information than I had — which was literally zero.

Update (2023-08-28): See also: Accidental Tech Podcast.

Pogue’s Photos Unification

David Pogue (via CYME):

After 30 years of shutterbugging, my photos were all over the place. 150,000 of them were on Flickr, which was once free but has crept up to $80 a year—and is ancient and pretty terrible for photo management (can’t search by face, object, or place, for example). Another 200,000 were lodged in various bloated, slow Photos libraries. I could never find pictures or videos!

So I devised a master plan to consolidate everything. Buy a RAID hard drive (a double drive, so that if one drive fails, there’s a duplicate). Download everything from Flickr. And then somehow merge those, PLUS all of those Photos libraries, into a single Lightroom Classic catalog. That program is much better for huge libraries. (Eventually, I’ll upload everything to Amazon Photos—unlimited and free for Prime members—as another backup.)

But how could I move my stuff from Photos to Lightroom without losing my albums, keywords, cropping, face-recognition data, and so on?

He used Avalanche. I don’t hear much about Amazon Photos, but it sounds like a potentially good way to keep an offsite backup and also to access your complete collection from any device.

I still pay for and use Flickr, but it’s frustrating. For example, I recently couldn’t figure out how to resume a slideshow in the middle of an album on Apple TV. Bulk uploads from Lightroom usually take several tries before they complete without error (with videos always failing) and sometimes leave partially uploaded photos stranded with no album. And copying large numbers of photos between albums doesn’t work in the Web interface. The iOS app still can’t do most of what the Web site can—it doesn’t even support collections—though it does continue to get updates.


App Store Rules Regarding Trials

Anders Borum:

Making decisions for my coming S3 app.

Does Apple app review allow free to download apps to put everything behind a paywall, such that users can download and use the app during a free trial but when the trial expires nothing is available for free?

App Review guidelines doesn’t mention this particular case as either acceptable or unacceptable.

I thought there was a rule where you had to provide some minimum functionality for free. Sometimes this is straightforward, like allowing reading but not writing of documents. Some apps had to get more creative. But I can no longer find this rule in the guidelines.


Non-subscription apps may offer a free time-based trial period before presenting a full unlock option by setting up a Non-Consumable IAP item at Price Tier 0 that follows the naming convention: “XX-day Trial.” Prior to the start of the trial, your app must clearly identify its duration, the content or services that will no longer be accessible when the trial ends, and any downstream charges the user would need to pay for full functionality.


Auto-renewing subscription apps may offer a free trial period to customers by providing the relevant information set forth in App Store Connect. Learn more about providing subscription offers.

Anders Borum:

This is about using free non-consumable in-app purchases for trials which wasn’t allowed before 2014 and I was hurt badly by this in 2012.

It is related to my question but doesn’t make it super clear what is allowed when trial expires.

Of course, you can try to look at what other apps are doing, but that’s no guarantee that your app will be allowed to do the same thing. It’s a shame that the rules are still so unclear. A free trial should be a common pattern that is not only blessed in the rules but implemented once by Apple so that developers and users get a consistent experience, and the store can show what the business model is.


Update (2023-05-10): Rob Jonson:

Don’t ever do the ‘Non-Consumable IAP Trial’ dance. I did that years ago on Multi Monitor Wallpaper before subscription + trial was a thing. It’s a horrible customer experience. Subscription + trial is clearer for the customer and earns a lot more!

My experience has been that Apple is fine with apps that offer zero functionality after trial expires. I agree that this should be supported explicitly and directly. ’Free Download <tiny letters> In App Purchase’ Is not the same as Free Trial - Subscription required.

I think there are some app types where neither customers nor most developers think subscriptions are a good fit.

Update (2023-05-11): I heard from a developer whose app was just rejected for offering the choice between an IAP and a subscription with a free trial. They were told that they had to add some free functionality, with the reviewer citing a section of the guidelines that does not mention anything about this. The app had been in the store for years and was not even allowed to do a maintenance update before changing its business model.

Helge Heß:

I think apart from a SwiftUI w/o any changes but just fixes, my main WWDC wish would be AppStore support for flows I’d personally want (e.g. direct support for upgrades, non-subscription trials). And an actual iAP store that I don’t have to implement myself from scratch (it wouldn’t even have to be in-app, just let users purchase iAP’s in the store app and deep link there).