DaVinci Resolve for iPad has come out of beta and is now available to download in the App Store
Well, that beta cycle didn’t last very long! Blackmagic has today announced that DaVinci Resolve for iPad has hit its first official release version. The initial launch of DaVinci Resolve for iPad comes with the Cut Page and the Color Page. This is going to be somewhat disappointing for those who were hoping to see fully-fledged Edit and Fairlight pages. Bear in mind, though, Resolve for the iPad isn’t intended to replace the desktop version but to complement it.
The Cut and Color pages, though, are pretty much identical to its desktop counterpart, barring desktop-specific features like menus. I’ve been playing with the beta version for a couple of weeks and I have to say that editing video with the iPad has become an absolute pleasure and it’s very easy to transfer projects between iPad and desktop either via SSD (yes, it supports external SSD storage) or the Blackmagic Cloud.
YouTuber Michael Tobin has put out a video going over some of the features available in the release version.
As with the desktop version, there is both a free version and a paid-for Studio version. The big difference here, though, is that it’s just a single download for both. You download from the App Store and get access to all of the free features – which, honestly, will probably satisfy 99% of users – with an in-app $94.99 purchase to upgrade to the studio version. There’s no nagging here, though. You’re not prompted every five minutes to pay. In fact, the only time you can actually buy the in-app upgrade is if you attempt to use one of the Studio-specific features not available in the free version.
It’s optimised for the iPad Pro with M1 and M2 chips, although it will work on other iPads, too. I’ve been testing it with the iPad Air 4, which doesn’t possess an M1 or M2 chip. It’ll actually run on anything that contains an A12 Bionic or newer chip running iPadOS 16. There are some limitations with non-M1/M2 chips, though. For example, with the iPad Air 4, I’m limited to editing and rendering in 1080p, but it’s no problem to create my project in 1080p, export out the project to the desktop, resize to 4K and render out from there.
Even on the iPad Air 4, though, the performance is extremely good. I’ve been editing my projects from external storage – specifically, the 2TB OWC Envoy Pro FX – and it’s been running beautifully with extremely rapid response to interactions and real-time playback. This is a huge boost over other video editing apps for the iPad which only let you import from the camera roll using internal iPad storage. Even with a pretty serious grade on there, it’s been performing great with external SSDs. The only time it ever really lags is when I start adding a lot of effects (which isn’t something I often do, but I wanted to see where it fell over), but that’s an issue with my iPad Air 4, not the external storage. On M1 or M2-based iPad Pros, it should sail through just about anything you can throw at it.
As a fully-fledged video editor, DaVinci Resolve for iPad is not going to cut it for a lot of people. But for those who just need the editing and colour grading side of things, with basic audio adjustments, DaVinci Resolve is actually a pretty perfect all-in-one solution. And for the rest of us, who need the power of the desktop version, Resolve for iPad is a great way to get your project started and the first draft edited (and even graded) before shifting over to the desktop for the heavy lifting. That’s pretty much how I’ll be using it – and it works particularly well if you have an Apple Pencil or a 3rd party equivalent).
DaVinci Resolve for iPad is available to download for free from the Apple App Store now. The Studio version is available for an in-app $94.99 purchase.
John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.