Sometimes a 6-second video (à la Twitter's Vine app) just isn't enough, but spending an hour or more editing a longer video is too much. Clinch, an automated video-making app, lets you create a compilation video from images and movies stored in your iPhone in just a few minutes.
Today (March 5), Clinch expanded the sources you can draw from for your videos; you can now use photos and video from public Instagram and Twitter accounts, as well as material from friends who also use the app. Clinch uses the location and time information from your images to automatically find other content recorded at the same event; you can then use that media in your new video.
The app organizes material in smart ways. For instance, it pairs similar photos side-by-side, and the videos you create begin and end with close-ups if any of the individual images or videos have one.
Privacy settings are simple. You can set each video to private or share it with the Clinch community in a photostream similar to Instagram's. Further, users can share their videos to Twitter and Facebook , or email them to friends.
Here's how to get started in the app: Tap "Create" to make a new video. You can shoot photos and video from your phone or select them from your camera roll by tapping them. Clinch allows up to 30 photos and five video clips per compilation. As you add these files, you can also add text, which will later appear in your movie.
Once you've selected your images, you'll see a screen that shows available matching photos from Instagram and Twitter users and from friends who also use Clinch. Make your selections or skip and move on to the last steps, including your choice of theme and music. Tap the photo icon to choose a thumbnail that will appear in the Clinch stream. Touch the big Clinch button and let the app go to work. You'll receive a notification when your video is ready.
Despite some strengths, Clinch is a relatively new app (it launched last August) and has room for improvement. First, Clinch frequently cuts off Instagram's square-shaped photos in awkward places so they fit Clinch's rectangular frames.
Second, Clinch provides no previews and allows no editing once a video has been compiled. If you don't like the results, you'll have to delete your movie and start over. Finally, once you've made a video public or private , you can't change its visibility setting.
While you can use Clinch to turn old images into a view-worthy movie, it's particularly suited to events shared with a group of friends who are all taking video and pictures.