Final Cut Pro for iPad Reviews: Worth the Wait, But Some Limitations
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. We also shared our own hands-on video of the app, which is available now on the App Store.
Final Cut Pro for the iPad is a subscription-based app priced at $4.99 per month or $49 per year in the U.S. after a one-month free trial. The app is compatible with iPads equipped with the M1 chip or newer, and requires iPadOS 16.4 or later.
Final Cut Pro for iPad is a carefully designed app that gets a lot of the basics right. It's a great adaptation of its desktop app, and FCP users will feel right at home. It also takes advantage of the iPad's touch-first interface and utilizes accessories like the Magic Keyboard and Apple Pencil well. It's also priced accessibly — Apple is selling it as a subscription at $5 per month or $50 per year, which makes it easy to use for a month or two to see if it's something you want to stick with.
But if you're hoping that it's a complete drop-in replacement for the Mac version of Final Cut Pro, you'll likely come away disappointed. There are still many features omitted from this version that I missed throughout my testing of it. And if you're the type of editor who wants to work on both the iPad and the Mac, you're going to need to be careful with how you organize your projects and which device you start out with.
If you're a videographer and you've been waiting for Final Cut on iPad, it's been worth the eight-year wait. But it feels like there's already a need for a 1.5 update that's going to line up feature parity on the same level as what Logic Pro for iPad already manages. Swapping between devices with projects and not experiencing any bugs when moving from a Mac to iPad and vice versa is critical.
Final Cut Pro brings out the best in iPad, from its multi-touch focus to the fun features of Live Drawing and the jog wheel. It gives some rare clarity to a confused device category, and buggy software features like Stage Manager that have bogged down the iPad for the past year. And for that alone, it's worth the subscription price.
After quite a few hours in Final Cut Pro iPad, my impressions are mixed. There were moments where I really did get into a groove and felt great about the app—generally when I was using the Magic Keyboard since it gave me access to shortcuts that haven't been properly translated into the touch interface.
But I also felt a lot of familiar frustration at an app that's packed with features but hasn't quite realized that multi-touch gestures and the Apple Pencil can make the process go smoother even without an attached keyboard. The pieces are all in place for Final Cut Pro to become a great iPad app, but it's still got a lot of growing up to do.
More Reviews and First Impressions
- CNET's Scott Stein
- Gizmodo's Michelle Ehrhardt
- MacStories' John Vorhees
- Macworld's Jason Cross
- Forbes' David Phelan