Using the iLife Suite: iPhoto, iMovie, and GarageBand - dummies

Using the iLife Suite: iPhoto, iMovie, and GarageBand

iLife, which comes with any new iOS device (including your iPad mini with Retina Display), is a suite of apps that includes iPhoto, iMovie, and GarageBand. Manipulate pictures or create a photo book in iPhoto. Add effects and otherwise edit movie footage in iMovie. Choose an instrument and write a song in GarageBand.


Doctor individual images in iPhoto, using slider controls to choose the colors (also known as hues), apply brushes effects (such as saturate, sharpen, or soften), with lots of sharing options when you’re done. Order prints in a wide range of sizes from 4 x 6 to poster. Panoramas are also a print option.

You can work on three project types:

  • Photo books are bound hardcover books. The whole outside is wrapped with a photo, and has a dust jacket based on an Apple theme of your choosing. Choose from hundreds of page layouts. Tap a page option within a book to select it. Touch and hold pages to move them around; touch and hold photos to move them to a different page.

  • Web journals let you make a picture story that you can publish via iCloud.

  • Slide shows let you show different photos.


This movie-making app has a full-screen video browser, plus video effects. You can change speeds, show picture-in-picture, and trim, split, fade, or duplicate any clip in the timeline.

Choose a project type. Then you can choose a theme, which has preset graphics, titles, and transitions. Movie themes and trailer themes are available. Before choosing, check out each and every one by tapping the Play button.

Movie themes:

  • Modern

  • Bright

  • Playful

  • Neon

  • Travel

  • Simple

  • News

  • CNN iReport

Trailer themes:

  • Adrenaline

  • Bollywood

  • Coming of Age

  • Expedition

  • Fairy Tale

  • Family

  • Indie

  • Narrative

  • Retro

  • Romance

  • Scary

  • Superhero

  • Swashbuckler

  • Teen

The iCloud Theater feature lets you watch movies across numerous devices if you’re connected to iCloud:

  • Big-screen TVs with the Apple TV set-top box

  • Our Mac or other iOS device


This version of GarageBand has a big update. In GarageBand, you create music with Smart Instruments:

  1. Tap a Smart Instrument.

    The groove starts. Don’t like that groove? Tap a different one.

  2. When you find one you like, tap the Record button.

  3. Now tap the Smart Guitar for beautiful chords in pleasing patterns.

    Try a few and record the one you like best.

  4. Tap the Smart Bass to add a funky bass line.

  5. Tap the Smart Keyboard and string parts.

    Before you know it, you’ve got a song.

Each GarageBand instrument, smart or regular, offers multiple variations. For example, if you’re using the Smart Keyboard or regular instrument, you have a choice of Grand Piano, Electric Piano, Smooth Clav(inet), Classic Rock Organ, or four different synthesizers.

  1. Once you’ve recorded some tracks, mix the tracks together so they sound like a song.

  2. Switch to Tracks view.

  3. Adjust the relative volume of a track with using its Track Volume slider.

    Or, adjust other audio settings such as Pan (placement left or right in the stereo mix), Echo, Reverb, and others by tapping the Mixer Controls button.

  4. If you want, double-tap a region and tap Edit to work on individual notes.

GarageBand supports up to 32 tracks on the most recent iOS devices, and you can easily exchange projects with GarageBand (or Logic Pro) on the Mac. An in-app purchase of the complete collection of instruments and sounds is available to you for a whopping $4.99.

GarageBand has pretty good online help:

  1. Tap the Song Settings button.

  2. Tap Help at the bottom of the Song Settings overlay.