iPhone, iPad video with mobile iMovie app

Mobile video


Here you will find information about creating a video on your iPhone and iPad, and learn how to edit video on your device using the iMovie mobile app downloaded from the Apple Store.  The app might already be on your iPhone or iPad, and is a free.

Information on user engagement for video, along with tips for shooting better video are include below.

I always welcome information on mobile tech tips!


Jannet Walsh

Learn more about this iPhone video shot at Isle Royale National Park.

Viewer Engagement 

Length of video

Less is always more, almost always for video.

Wistia, wistia.com,  an online web hosting service for business want to host videos and receive as much data as possible about videos, allowing for information about when viewers stop watching and other important viewer information.

Here’s what Wistia  has to say about viewer engagement and video length from their 2016 report:  (See details from original source at Wistia website.)

30 seconds to 2 minutes

  • No more than Two Minutes, First video sweet spot
  • Two minute videos are the best length if you want viewers to get the full message.  30 second video will hold viewer’s attention about the same as a two minutes video.
  • Viewer drop-off between 2 to 3 minutes
  • Every moment counts when you have something to say. 
  • If you don’t deliver what you need in the first two minutes, it could be viewers will miss the information as they have already stopped watching. 
  • Wistia  notes only 70 percent or viewers  are watching two minutes, after that point, second counts.

My thoughts – Not all videos can be done in a few minutes, so think about continuing in a new view, such as part one, part two and so on.

6 to 12 minutes

  • Longer videos of 6 to 12 minutes is the second  sweet spot.
  • Viewer engagement loss levels off after 6 minutes.
  • Every moment counts between 6 to 12 minutes.
  • Engagement will hold steady from 6 to 12 minutes, but every moment will count from 2 to 6 minute mark if you want viewers to watch a video to the end.
  • After 2 minutes:  Focus on content

More than 12 minutes

  • Proceed with caution if you need to make a video longer than 12 minutes. 
  • The viewer drop-off for 12 to 20 minutes is less steep for the 2 to 6 minute video. 
  • It’s likely more expensive to make a longer video and will take more to create.

Wistia Summary

Video length – Make a great video and the engagement will follow.  Give viewers a way to share link to watch video later is also a great way to encourage viewers to watch the complete video.

More Inspiration?
Wistia has an entire on their website devoted to learning more about creating video.
Watch video about educating employees about being on camera.

Mobile video shooting tips

If you are shooting hand-held video with your iPhone, iPad or any smartphone, there’s a few things to start doing right now to give your videos a more professional look.

  • Shoot horizontal video, unless an app requires you to shoot vertical.
  • Always hold your smartphone with two hands for shooting photos and video
  • Become the tripod (tree legs), or bipod (two legs):  The more stable you are, feet firmly planted on the ground will make your video more stable.
  • Create video kit – If a little planning you can create a simple video kit with microphone, tripod and lights to create even better video.  iOgrapher makes cases you can mount iPhones, iPad and more.
  • Smartphone Adapter  – Mefoto creates a mount to connect smartphone to a tripod.  Joby has several tripods and tripod mounts.
  • Glif is a camera mount that adjusts to the size of your smartphone.
  • Austin Mann, tests latest models of iPhone, featured by Apple.  See latest review of iPhone 7 and equipment list.

YouTube Analytics

If you have your own YouTube Channel,  start looking at your YouTube analytics page to find out more about how long viewers are spending on a particular video.  Below is a screen shot from one of my video editing tutorials.

“Fade Audio with KeyFrames, Adobe Premiere Pro CC”
July 19, 2017
More than 17K views

Duration 3:24
Average view duration 1:30

Top Geographic locations
37% from US
7.6 from United Kingdom
4.6% from India
4.5% from Australia
3.9% from Canada

Male, 77%
Female, 23%

Traffic Sources
YouTube search, 55%
Suggested videos, 35%
External, 8.2%
Other, 2.1%

iPad, iPhone and iMovie

Mobile Video Editing  with iMovie app for iPhone and iPhone -Practice using iPad with mobile iMovie app to create quick mobile video.

This video was created on an iPhone 6 and edited with iMovie App on iPhone.  Free music from YouTube, Open Sea Morning by Puddle Infinity, Creative Commons usage.

Applications –   iMovie Mobile app on iPhone and iPad
Download at Apple Store from your mobile device


This video was created on an iPhone 6 and edited with iMovie App on iPhone. Free music from YouTube, Open Sea Morning by Puddle Infinity, Creative Commons usage.

  • Practice shooting a short video, no more than 2 minutes,  with the iPad and learning to edit it in class, uploading to your YouTube account.  The emphasis is learning, to use the iPad, iMovie and uploading to YouTube.
  • Music (optional) – You can use the music, not required, for this video, part of the iMovie App.  It’s good to know how to work with music.
  • Titles – Try creating an opening title and credits title with videographers names, date and location.
    Example:  Video by Jim Smith and Jane Doe,  St. Cloud State University,  Nov. 10, 2016.
  • Copyright – Include copyright details: Example:  ©2016 Jim Smith.  All Rights Revered.
  • CAUTION:  (For SCSU students) If you do not download your video from the iPad, it will likely be deleted.  You can also delete any video that’s on your the iPad you use to make sure you have enough storage to shoot your video.

Download video, photos from iPhone, iPad, DSLR to Computer

If you will be shooting your video on your iPhone or iPad, and editing on you computer, try using the Image Capture application instead of iTunes.  See details below.

  • Launch Image Capture App – You might need to search or go to Applications.  This app comes with all Apple computers, but it might not be located on the dock.  Ask for help if you are not sure.
  • Attach the cable from the iPad or iPhone to the Apple Computer.
  • Your device will appear, if you see a lock, you will need to unlock device.
  • Navigate to your Video Folder – See Import To:  You will need to select OTHER, and find your folder or create a new folder.  Make sure you know where your video is going to be stored!
  • You can select or deselect – Delete after import, lower left corner
  • Select your folder, and then Choose
  • Finally, select Import
  • You will now see images importing.  Make sure you can see the media going into the folder
  • If your video is not located in the media folder, move it now.
  • The process should now be complete. Make sure you save your video in more than one location or be prepared to reshoot.

YouTube – Uploading

Upload to YouTube from iPhone, iPad or your computer
Go to YouTube, select Upload and drag or drop video file.
Complete title and caption area, make video UNLISTED, PUBLIC or PRIVATE. 

Unlisted – Video can’t be viewed without link or search
Private – Requires a password
Public – Can be searched and viewed by anyone


Watch video and make sure it’s as you want and can see it all.

Additional resources 

More resources on video length, hosting




AdAge – Best Practices;  Who is the Optimal Length for Video Content

WireBuzz – How to Determine the Best Length for Your Video

Essential metrics (and tools) to help optimize your video

YouTube for Business

Here is a screen shot from a YouTube Director template to create video. Click on photo to learn more about YouTube Director.

Video made with YouTube Director bumper toolkit.


Download  Free YouTube mobile app