REVIEW: ProCutX app for iPad

This app turns your iPad into a video-editing remote control. We take it for a test run.

Our Verdict

Gestures and other refinements are needed to compensate for the touchscreen’s flatness.


  • Saves having to memorise shortcuts and locations in the menu bar
  • Basic but useful editing tools


  • Slow rate of advancement
  • Missing gestures to control certain functions

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ProCutX turns your iPad into a companion controller for Apple’s Final Cut Pro X video editor, providing a screen of buttons for accessing many of the application’s most useful tools. It saves you having to memorise keyboard shortcuts and locations in the menu bar.


Controls are grouped by task. A dial that moves the playhead sits at the centre; your finger doesn’t have to precisely track its edge, just orbit the centre. Forget about quickly scrubbing a second or so in either direction, though - the maximum rate of advancement is similar to holding the left or right arrow keys on your keyboard.

That’s because ProCutX depends on a companion app installed on the Mac, which relays commands from the iPad by pretending to be an attached keyboard (though really, it’s just connected to the same Wi-Fi network as your Mac). Motioning around the dial at least lets you slow down the rate of advancement to land on a precise frame without repeatedly tapping an arrow key on your keyboard.

Editing tools

At the bottom-left are the basic editing tools, which might seem the most redundant thing to duplicate given their keyboard shortcuts are single letter keys. However, they’re useful if you normally access them through the pop-up in Final Cut’s toolbar because the iconography matches what’s shown there, and all are visible at once, instead of having to click twice.

ProCutX app review

ProCutX turns your iPad into a companion controller for Apple’s Final Cut Pro X video editor

Other buttons also indicate their purpose with graphics, but many are labelled with words and numbers. Even with large labels indicating each control group’s purpose, the use of text means it takes longer to memorise positions within a group.

It’s frustrating that you can’t feel which button within a group you’re about to press, but that’s out of ProCutX’s control (given the lack of tactile feedback from the iPad’s screen). Once you’ve learned the overall layout, muscle memory begins to lead you partway to tools, though we found we still had to glance down to be sure we were pressing the right button.

Sadly, an opportunity is missed to use gestures to control certain features. A quick two-finger swipe left or right might have been interpreted as wanting to undo or redo an action; instead, you have to hit a button precisely. Is it any better than using a standard keyboard shortcut to do the same? Similarly, zooming in or out on the timeline requires repeated taps – surely tracking the distance of a pinch gesture could have been an intuitive alternative?

Colour grading

The colour grading tools present another hurdle. The small eight- way button you press to make adjustments is the same size as most other controls, but while you can observe the response in Final Cut, you still need to look down when changing direction to make sure your finger has moved to the correct part of the button.

Despite this, ProCutX does the job – on the condition that you’re happy to tolerate shifting your eyes off your Mac to the iPad’s screen for moments at a time.

You'll find this review, and many more, in Tap! Magazine issue 28.

Key info

  • Works with: iPad
  • Universal: No
  • Version: 1.1
  • App size: 9.1MB
  • Developer: Lightwork Solutions Inc
  • Age rating: 4+

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The Verdict

out of 10


Gestures and other refinements are needed to compensate for the touchscreen’s flatness.

The Creative Bloq team is made up of a group of design fans, and has changed and evolved since Creative Bloq began back in 2012. The current website team consists of seven full-time members of staff: Editor Georgia Coggan, Deputy Editor Rosie Hilder, Deals Editor Beren Neale, Senior News Editor Daniel Piper, Digital Arts and Design Editor Ian Dean, Tech Reviews Editor Erlingur Einarsson and Ecommerce Writer Abi Le Guilcher, as well as a roster of freelancers from around the world. The 3D World and ImagineFX magazine teams also pitch in, ensuring that content from 3D World and ImagineFX is represented on Creative Bloq.