Apple Updates iMovie While AV Software Head Retires

Posted by at 8:30 am on April 24, 2015

Apple on Thursday announced a bug-fix update to its consumer video-editing program, iMovie, on the same day that the head of Apple’s photo and video software teams, Randy Ubillos, announced his retirement. Ubillos, who has been with Apple for the past 20 years, has been the key engineer behind the modern versions of iMovie, Final Cut Pro, iPhoto, and Aperture — and before joining Apple, was one of the team that created the Premiere video editing suite for Adobe.

Thursday’s update to iMovie for OS X brings the program up to version 10.0.8, which was chiefly concerned with fixing a bug that could cause the program to crash on launch — an issue apparently introduced following the last update, which added support for the new Force Touch trackpad found in the latest MacBook line revisions — as well as enhancing compatibility for YouTube sharing of videos.

The radical revision to iMovie that Ubillos introduced to the program in its 2007 revamp — centered around the idea of building videos through a word processing-like select/cut/paste type set of operations — at first infuriated users used to the traditional style of non-linear video editing, but with refinements grew to be embraced as a superior standard whose approach eventually migrated over to both Final Cut Pro and its competitors. Final Cut itself grew out of an acquisition by Apple in 1998 of a Macromedia program originally called Keygrip — a project headed by a young Ubillos — as a result of Adobe’s at the time refusal to create a version of Premiere for the then-troubled Mac platform.

IMovie

In addition to working on video and photo applications for OS X, Ubillos was also the head of the company’s iOS versions, helping create the simplified, “trailer”-oriented touch version of iMovie and the original iOS version of iPhoto, which has now given way to the mobile-led creation of Photos, destined to replace iPhoto on the desktop as well. He leaves even as Apple has begun facing charges that it is neglecting its professional-user market, abandoning Aperture for example. However, earlier this month the company updated its Final Cut Pro X suite, and continues to support Logic Pro — both of which Apple sells for just a fraction of the money they used to cost.

As Apple has found ever-greater success in consumer products, its focus has shifted away from its once-strong focus on the prosumer and professional niche markets, but the platform remains a favorite in the creative community for its high-quality software and OS. Professionals may be looking to this June’s Worldwide Developer Conference in hopes of some new announcements regarding hardware, such as the likelihood of a refreshed 15-inch MacBook Pro and the possibility of an updated Mac Pro, the latter of which hasn’t received a hardware update since 2013.

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