Splice by GoPro: A Great Free Video Editor for iPads

splice ipad

While preparing a workshop for teachers on iPad movie making, I was reviewing my top picks for free iPad video editors. One of my early favorites, the Clips Video Editor, is apparently no longer available because the developers got bought out by Google and their apps have been removed from the App Store. So, as I looked for a replacement I came across Splice. This app has been around for a while but I was pleased to see it now includes a iPad version and a much improved user interface. The app was recently acquired by GoPro, but can be used to edit any video footage on your iOS device.

Splice lets you create videos, or photo slideshows, with no time limits, ads or watermarks. It also has an impressive list of editing features that include:

  • Trim, cut, crop photos and videos
  • Choose from a selection of lens filters for special effects
  • An impressive library of free soundtracks and sound effects
  • The ability to record your own voiceover narration
  • The option to overlay and mix multiple audio tracks
  • Ken Burns pan and zoom effect
  • Control over video playback speed – slow motion or super fast!
  • A collection of professional looking video transitions
  • Text overlays for photos or videos

splice ipad

The interface may take a little getting used to, but I found it pretty intuitive and easy to learn. It is different from iMovie, but different in a good way. Everything feels very modern and fresh. There is a great built-in, searchable help menu that can be used to find the features you want, but it is largely text based. A few screenshots here would add a lot to the usefulness of the help screens.

Finished videos can be shared in a number of ways. There is built-in support for direct uploads to YouTube, Facebook and Instagram, but you can also save to the camera roll or activate the “Open in” app picker to choose another app like Drive or Dropbox. However, perhaps most interesting is the ability to share via a link. When you choose this option, your video will be uploaded to GoPro’s servers and you will be given a link to the video that you can share with others. Only those with the link can access the video, and no account or login is required in order to share your video this way. Here’s a link to my sample Splice video. (Note: You can turn the GoPro outro on or off as required. In this case I chose to leave it on).

splice video editor

Any drawbacks? GoPro state that some features require newer devices and the latest version of iOS. As yet, I have not been able to uncover what those are, but no doubt time will tell. There are no themes like you might find in iMovie, and you can’t adjust how long text appears on a video clip. Once you add it, the text is there for the whole clip, just like it is in iMovie, unless you split the clip and only add text to the part you need. Finally, when in landscape mode, the narration button is harder to find than it should be. You need to tap Audio tab and then scroll up with one finger to reveal the additional audio track on the timeline.

Otherwise, if you are looking for a free video editor for your iPad, Splice by GoPro is well worth a look because it’s a powerful video editor that works really well on the iPad. I will definitely use it more in the future because I love the design of the app and the way everything is laid out. Below is a sample video that I put together in Splice with Creative Commons Zero video clips sourced from www.pixabay.com.

12 thoughts on “Splice by GoPro: A Great Free Video Editor for iPads”

  1. Your sample video is done in flash. Are there other formats to save in? Flash isn’t accessible on the iPad

    1. The YouTube video at the bottom of the post is the same video that I uploaded to GoPro and should work without Flash. Try that if you want a look at the demo.

      It saves to the camera roll as an MP4.

  2. I just downloaded the Splice app on my iPad and am trying to upload some video clips from the Microsoft OneDrive online storage platform. I can’t seem to get anything to upload from OneDrive. Any idea if Splice will work with OneDrive? Any suggestions on what I should try to do upload from OneDrive. Thanks for your help.

    1. I don’t think there is any direct way to import from OneDrive (yet). I would suggest opening the OneDrive app on your device, saving the videos to the Camera Roll, and then importing them into Splice via the Camera Roll.

  3. I have found editing on ipad fantastic in splice but struggling to export due to space available, I have 3gb free and it’s still not enough. Video is 24mins all shot on go pro or phone camera. 2 questions: when imported into splice can the original footage be removed from the camera roll? Is there a calculation for space needed to export video?

    1. Q1. I tried deleting a video after it was in Splice (and removed it from Recently Deleted in Photos) and Splice still seemed to work with the video I had deleted. It even let me export the video to the camera roll or share online. It was a short video, but you could try it and see.
      Q2. Not sure, but you can email or chat with the GoPro folks here: https://gopro.com/help/PKBContactus

      1. Thanks Jon,
        Re: Q1, deleting the original video from the camera roll saved me some space and splice still worked ok with the footage I’d imported. This was useful info as I thought editing an original photo later would then follow through into the project; clearly the link to the original is broken on import.

        I also made progress on Q2, in hd-720, a 24 minute film was 1.8gb, or in hd-1080 it was 2.52gb. Both needed 5gb free space to render so the internal calc for space needed is based on the source footage rather than the output file size specifically. I did find out that in general 150-250mb of free space is needed per minute of HD video, which is 3.6gb-6.0gb for 24 minutes.

        Thanks again for responding, it really helped

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