Apple Announces Photo Booth, iMovie and GarageBand for iOS 4.3 and iPad 2

At the iPad 2 announcement today, Apple announced three apps that would be launching on their new tablet and will work on iOS 4.3, which is bound for recent iPhone and iPod touch models soon.

Photo Booth is what you would expect – use the front-facing camera to take pictures of yourself while adding wacky effects, like mirroring, thermal imaging, and a smattering of others. More info here.

A little more useful is iMovie, which will provide a wide range of video editing capabilities that existing Mac owners will be familiar with already. You can slice up footage, add in transitions, titles, any of 50 sound effects, music, still images… The whole nine yards. It supports multiple audio channels, has a few new themes like “Neon” for that early 90s feel, allow you to wirelessly share your creations to the big screen through the Apple TV and AirPlay, or share it to the web via YouTube, Vimeo, or Facebook. iMovie will be available for $4.99 on March 11, further details here.

Then there’s GarageBand, the well-known Mac app for splicing and editing audio. It comes with a variety of touch-based instruments, including drums, guitars, and keyboards of various kinds, plus a variety of amps and effects. All of the virtual instruments are force-sensitive thanks to the built-in accelerometer, but for those who aren’t musically-inclined already, there are “Smart Instruments”, which simplify the playing process – effectively training wheels for real instruments. You can record on up to 8 tracks, take advantage of over 250 loops, and once you’re done your masterpiece, you can e-mail it in AAC format, or bring it over to the Mac version of GarageBand for further refinement. GarageBand for iOS 4.3 will also be going on sale March 11 for $4.99, more info here.

These are pretty awesome offerings, and should set a baseline standard for third-party developers. The only nitpick I could make is that it’s unclear how you can import raw audio or video into Garage Band or iMovie – do the files have to have been locally created, either with the iPad 2’s video camera or the virtual instruments? For iMovie, they say that you can shoot video with an iPhone and edit on an iPad, or add audio from the iPad’s mic, but that’s it. That could be a big caveat, or at least an opportunity where existing players like Amplitube can step in and let you import audio and video from big-boy cameras or amps.

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