Best iPhone Video Apps: Qwiki

Automatically Create Smart Visual Stories From Photos and Videos Stored On Your iPhone Camera Roll.

Digital shorts have been around for many years. But microMovie Apps for the iPhone have created a surge in video content created by iPhone photographers and visual artists. A microMovie is a style of visual storytelling or video capture that is based on some app-imposed short time. Here's another app.

Qwiki Snapshot:


Cost: Free

Version: 1.02

Why it's cool: Automatically Create Smart Visual Stories From Photos and Videos Stored In a Camera Roll.

Updated: Feb 7th 2013

appOS:  iOS 5.1 or later

Compatible iPhone 3GS, 4, 4S, 5, iPod Touch 3rd, 4th & 5th Gen & iPad. Optimized for iPhone 5

Qwiki is one of the fastest ways to visually tell a story using video on an iPhone. It works by automatically editing the pictures and video stored in your iPhone's Camera Roll. It intelligently selects the content and determines the pacing of each scene—a remarkable achievement. The production value is quite high, and overall its a really fast way to create and publish visual stories that would normally never get packaged or edited due to our daily time constraints.

If you don't like the way the movie turned out, a director's cut is pretty easy to create. Just add, remove, or rearrange any of the photos or videos. Adding additional captions and filters takes a few taps and like every other social video tool, Qwiki also has a community element for sharing, engaging and discovering the best content and experiences. Overall, Its a pretty cool way to thematically create a micoMovie based on an event or date range.


Getting started

Step 1: Create a visual story from the two options available.

  • Create a Qwiki movie automatically. Qwiki picks the best content and builds a preview of the photos and videos stored in your iPhone camera roll. The content is assembled and curated based on when and where you shot them. The time and location in the metadata is used to assemble up to 25 shots in a collection of scenes called moments.

  • Custom stories are created by manually picking the media you want to use  from your camera roll. Selecting the images is a fast process and you should choose this option if you want more control of the images that are show in your visual story. Qwiki then groups the content into moments.

Step 2: Review the movie in Qwiki via the preview screen. The content is assembled and grouped into moments with the final edit automatically playing within a few seconds. The first thing to do is watch the clip and determine what changes, if any,  you'd like to make to the story. Images, video, captions, moments and audio can all be swopped out and changed.  

The preview screen consists of the following elements:

  • A preview video player includes the option to pause, continue or restart a video from the beginning.

  • Seven image filters. The default is none which Qwiki calls original and a filter can only be applied to the entire edited video.

  • A playback slider controls the length of the visual story. The default playback pace for my sample story was 30 seconds. Setting the playback pace to slow increased the duration to 40sec and selecting fast reduced the duration to 25 seconds. Its a unique feature but it would be nice to be able to select the exact duration as there isn't anyway to tell how long your visual story will be.

Step 3:Editing media and captions. Turning your event based content into a movie is as easy as drag and drop editing. Qwiki groups and places the content into a visual wrapper that it calls moments. A moment can consist of 1-6 photographs or videos and each movie is made up of half a dozen moments.

  • The edit screen contain a list of all the moments created for the movie.  Moments can be reordered by simply touching the slider and dragging the scene above or below another moment.   

  • Additional images and videos can be added from the iPhone camera roll to any moment/scene by simply touching the plus icon.  Media can be added to any moment as long as the maximun number of images has not been exceeded. (Max is 25 combines photos and videos)

  • Content can be dragged and dropped between moments or scenes.  There is a also a simple zoom and crop tool that is activated once you tap on an image. Tapping on a video clips allow you to select and be trim the video to 7 seconds.

  • Captions can be added to each moment.  Simply tap on the title option and the start typing.


Step 4: Selecting and adding music. The music for each movie is automatically pre-selected. The track can be quickly replaced with any song in your music library or from any of the 9 soundtracks that come standard with the app.

  • Selecting a song is easy. All the song in the library appear in alphabetical order and there is also a search function. A songs start time can be modified by dragging a slider to the any point in the track.


Step 5: Sharing.  Qwiki is also a social network with you can share, like, comment and engage with like minded others.

The share options include the following options:

  • Write a title and add a description.

  • Select Location.

  • Tag friends.

  • Share movie on FB & Twitter.

  • Share the movie link via Email. (No SMS or Link)

  • Set Qwiki movie to Private. (Can be shared later)
  • Note: Downloading a Qwiki movie onto your iPhone Camera Roll is unavailable.




Tips for editing with Qwiki:

  1. Songs can be selected and changed by taping on the song name in the preview screen. I'm hooked on his feature and I love the integration of the iTunes music library. So much so, I subscribed to Apple iTunes match so that i can add my music via the cloud.

  2. Tapping on a picture allows you to edit the image and resize it. if you are running short on images, consider using the same pic more than once and use this feature to enhance the story without image repetition.

  3. Tapping on a video brings up a trim feature which you can use to select the exact scene to use. The max length of a video clip is seven seconds but this change is based on the number of clips you have in a movie sequence and the position of the playback slider.

  4. The maximum number of videos and photos in a sequence is currently set to 25, so keep that in mind when you are shooting. No need to shoot hundreds of images. A few dozen will do the trick.

  5. Make sure that you watch the preview and double check your edit before publishing. Once you understand the limitation of this release you wont be too upset with the following.

  • The final edited sequence can not be saved to the camera roll.

  • There is no way to re-edit the media or captions once  the video is published.

  • The preview content that auto created the clip will no longer appear so there is no easy way to auto create the same sequence twice.


Recommended Qwiki Accessories

  1. iPhone mini Tripod Mounts: Select a mini tripod and iPhone Mount. The capta tripod mount with the suction-mounted stand is a great combo for some of those hard to reach locations.

  2. iPhone Lens: A wide angle or Macro lens can add some creativity to your visuals.

  3. iPhone Batteries: Never run out of juice with a pocket battery backup. If you plan on shooting with your iphone and editing with Qwiki then consider a back-up battery. It will keep you shooting when others have .


Left: Capta Tripod Mount with Suction Mounted Stand

Middle: Digital King Magnet Mount Conversion Wide Angle and Macro Lens for iPhone 5 and 4

Right: Sanho HyperJuice Micro 3600mAh External Battery


Need help or just a creative nudge? Check out the Adorama Learning Center for more articles on iPhone Photography & check out the lastest iPhoneography gear on the iPhone Toolshed.



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