Apple has announced Final Cut Pro is coming to the iPad next week, and I think that’s awesome. I haven’t used it myself, but what I’ve gathered from the info that’s out there now seems to indicate it’s a good version of the app, even if there is work to be done to get it in line with the Mac version. Pricing is a reasonable $5/month or $50/year.
What About the Mac?
My expectation is that in the next 6-18 months, a new Final Cut Pro app will appear on the Mac App Store, and it will also have subscription pricing. My guess?
$5/month or $50/year, and if you already have the iPad app, you get this one as a part of that same subscription. Basically, Final Cut Pro becomes a universal app that runs on the Mac and iPad.
Maaaaybe they opt for a separate app, and you need to subscribe to both of them. That just seems overly confusing, but I guess it could happen.
I do expect there to be a healthy amount of frustration with this move. Not because of the cost, but because of the changes to the Mac app from what we have today. If this is a true universal app, then it’s going to be based on the iPad version, and I just can’t imagine that’s going to be a clean transition for everyone.
Plug-ins will break, workflows will change, features will be missing, and as those can monetarily impact professionals’ revenue, that’s not going to go over well.
I’m sure there will be people who keep using the current app because they can’t be bothered to change on a dime, and that will be fine. My only hope is that the transition is smoother than the FCP7 upgrade a decade ago, which saw Apple throw out basically their whole pro audience and have to build it back up since then.
The worst would be if it goes like Adobe’s Lightroom update, which happened forever ago, but I still see pro photographers using Lightroom Classic because the new app never clicked for them and Adobe keeps updating Classic, so why bother moving?
$50/year for a pro video editor across two platforms is cheap, but I think Apple will have a new iCloud Pro plan for customers who use their pro apps. Maybe you’ll get the apps as a part of this or maybe you’ll need to pay the Final Cut sub plus this iCloud one, but the gist is that you’ll get online file and project storage for your video and audio projects.
This will mean you can work on your Mac, then go to your iPad and pick up working immediately, no need to move the files over AirDrop or anything. Finish the edit on your iPad and go right back to the Mac to export. Hell, maybe that export happens on a cloud server (although Apple probably still wants video editors buying specced out Macs, so maybe they won’t do this).
I think pricing for this will be enough that regular people (or even people like me who use it daily) will balk at using it, and only people with a specific use case will go for it.
If I’m making guesses, I’ll add that if they do a subscription that gets you their pro apps and this cloud feature, it could also be called Apple Pro.
Just a Guess
This is where I make it super clear I have no inside information on this, it’s just a combination of wishful thinking and using my history of following Apple to guess what they may do next. If any of this ends up being correct, then I’m just a good pundit 😋