Clinch is an automatic movie-making app that allows its users to bring together photographs, video clips and music from their device’s music library to produce attractive, eyecatching videos commemorating particular events or visits to specific locations. The interesting twist on the usual movie-making format is that Clinch allows collaborative efforts on movies, with multiple people able to contribute clips to a Clinch, and content able to be automatically imported from other nearby users.
Making a Clinch movie is a simple matter of tapping the “Create” button and then choosing to either pick content from the device’s photo library or shoot some photos and video immediately using the camera. In both cases, there must be at least one video clip of more than 5 seconds’ duration involved. Captions may be added to each individual piece of content as desired, or left blank.
Once the user has added all the content they desire, they pick a “theme” for the video — similar to how Apple’s iMovie has preset themes, and one of which is available via $0.99 in-app purchase — and then have the option of either using the recommended music for the theme from Clinch’s library, or exporting a song from their device’s music library to use as the video’s soundtrack. They can also add various optional features to the movie, including an impressive 3D satellite view of the location where the content was shot, the date and time, map and location and additional content drawn from Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. The user may also choose to import content from their friends if desired. The video may then be published either publicly, which means other users will be able to see it, or privately. At this point, the video uploads the component clips and then spends some time processing. This appeared to take a very long time during testing, and there did not appear to be a means of previewing the movie prior to publishing it.
The app also features its own built-in social network, which users may connect to using either Facebook or a proprietary account. Additional friends may be found and invited using Facebook, Twitter or the device’s address book, or added by searching for a specific name. Users may be followed, and individual video posts liked, commented on, flagged as inappropriate or shared to Facebook or Twitter.
Clinch is relatively easy to use, but not without its flaws. The apparent lack of a preview function is a big issue, as is the fact it was somewhat prone to crashing during shooting video and photos during testing. It also doesn’t allow a lot of control over how the final movie looks or how the photos are arranged — there doesn’t seem to be a way to rearrange clips or photos, for example, nor to reframe them if they are badly cropped by the selected theme. The fact that after an hour of waiting one posted movie hadn’t finished processing and consequently couldn’t be watched or shared is also a clear problem, though this didn’t happen consistently.
Clinch is reportedly getting a big update in time for SXSW on March 4, so it may be worth checking back in on then. For now, though, there are better movie-making solutions available for iOS. Clinch has some nice ideas, but at present they need a bit of work before this app can be recommended in good conscience.
You can follow Clinch’s progress with AppData, our tracking service for mobile and social apps and developers.