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 Frame.io), 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.


6 Comments RSS · Twitter · Mastodon

Carlos Ramos

Since Apple said last year that SwiftUI is the best way to create apps, I’m sure both Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro use SwiftUI as the main framework, right? :)

Does the Pencil Hover mode actually work well? It sounds like one of those things that would be a pain --- like you have to hover the pencil in a very small zone away from the screen... not too close so it registers as a touch, but not too far away where it doesnt register at all. Seems to me like a button or two on the side of the pencil would have been much easier to enable an "alt input mode" while touching the screen.

Reminds me of how the Mac has menus at the top of the screen where you can flick the mouse and always hit the target (touching the screen) vs. Windows where you have to take extra time to get the mouse in just the exact spot (hovering the pencil).

There are a few things that I don't get with this FCP on an iPad:

- is the hardware really ready for that kind of things?

I guess the CPU+Battery issue is not a real issue because if it runs on a MacBook Pro with a M1/M2,, there are no reasons this would not work good enough on an iPad with the same constraints.

I'm more concerned about the fixed storage capacity. Are there really good solutions with an iPad + iPadOS to use fast and big external storage?

- is this supposed to be a tool for YouTube "creators" or a tool to perform quick changes on more "serious" stuff?

- what about the fact that FCP is a software where there are/used to be custon keyboards for all the shorcuts? Does this make sense to use a screen-only UI for that kind of tool?

- why would you use an iPad instead of a MBP to work on FCP? Even if you don't have a MBP yet.

"why would you use an iPad instead of a MBP to work on FCP? Even if you don't have a MBP yet."

xrOS will be able to run iPad apps. This is all for them to demo that professional work can be done on the new headset.

>I'm more concerned about the fixed storage capacity. Are there really good solutions with an iPad + iPadOS to use fast and big external storage?

Wouldn't any Thunderbolt storage solution work?

@ Sören

From the Verge review I watched, it looks like that you can't use any external storage. And Apple is providing 2TB iPad for reviewers.

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