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First look: Apple's new GarageBand for iPad, updated iMovie for iOS

Apple on Thursday released the all-new GarageBand for iPad, and updated its iMovie application, adding a new look, new features and compatibility with the iPad 2. AppleInsider offers a first look at the newly released software.

Both iLife applications were demonstrated last week by Apple, and can now be purchased, for $4.99 apiece from the App Store. They arrive a day earlier than was previously expected, and also before the new, faster iPad 2 is set to go on sale.

GarageBand simplifies music creation

GarageBand for iPad is compatible with both the first-generation iPad, and the new iPad 2. It takes full advantage of the 9.7-inch multi-touch display on the iPad, and therefore is not compatible with the iPhone or iPod touch.

GarageBand is available on the App Store for $4.99. it offers a collection of touch instruments, including a keyboard, guitar, bass and drums, that allow users to make music anywhere they go.

Users can also access "smart" versions of instruments, allowing them to easily compose music without necessarily knowing how to play. A built-in audio recorder and sampler lets content creators add their own sounds and samples as well.

For those who have an electric guitar, using an accessory to plug the instrument into the iPad allows them to take advantage of the software's built-in guitar amp. The amp comes with different sounds and customizable configurations with stomp boxes.

For a beginner to music, GarageBand could offer an introductory understanding of chords and notes on a musical instrument. The smart instruments will also allow just about anyone to pick it up and start making music.

GarageBand 2

With the smart guitar, for example, a choice of chords is presented. Users can select a chord to hear it strummed out, or even individually pluck the strings to play all of the notes in the chord. Switching to notes mode works similarly, letting users explore different sounds of a guitar without even owning one.

Unique strumming styles can also be chosen, and users need only pick chords to hear them played. Stringing these together to write or perform a song is simple and fun.

With smart drums, different sounds can be placed on a grid to make different forms of percussion come together to create a beat. Sounds can be arranged from loud to soft, and simple to complex, offering a near infinite number of possibilities and combinations for customization.

GarageBand 3

The iPad's multi-touch screen works very quickly with GarageBand. Even on a first-generation iPad, there is no noticeable lag and the application runs very smoothly.

GarageBand 4

iMovie gets new look, features

iMovie is a universal application for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad, but it is only compatible with the camera-equipped iPad 2, set for release on Friday. Because the iPad 2 is not available yet, the updated software is shown here on an iPhone 4.

iMovie for iOS (iTunes link) is a $4.99 application that is compatible with the iPad 2, iPhone 4, or fourth-generation iPod touch. Earlier devices are not supported.

iMovie 1

Apple has tweaked the interface of the application with a new look and various improvements. Upon booting the new iMovie, users are greeted with a main menu that's designed to look like a retro movie theater, complete with marquee.

iMovie 2

One new addition to iMovie is a CNN iReport theme for movies. The addition makes it easy for users to format their content in a style that fits with the 24-hour news channel.

Stories can also be submitted directly to CNN iReport from the iMovie application, as well as to YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo. Content can also be saved to the phone's camera roll, or transferred to or from a user's local iTunes library via the application's file sharing feature.

iMovie 3

Users can now fade in from black and fade out to black within iMovie. Clips can be dragged, cut and pieced together using multi-touch gestures, and music and voiceovers can be added to clips.