Smartphones have seemingly made point-and-shoot cameras extinct, due to the vast improvements that have closed the gap between their performances. Even more impressive, today’s modern smartphones are increasingly becoming just as good at recording videos, as many of them are riddled with rich features, 4K capture, and manual modes that deliver depth that we haven’t seen before. While the process of shooting video on a smartphone isn’t a problem for the majority of high-end phones on the market, smartphones still by in large don’t offer the necessary tools for editing videos on the fly – often resulting in copying files over to a computer, just to edit them.
Video editors have sucked on Android for a long time. Too long. But now, there are several apps which bring basic, easy-to-use video editing to Android. You can trim clips, mix multiple clips together, and add your own soundtrack.These are not perfect, but it’s a good start.
GoPro promised it would bring the popular video editing app Replay to Android when it acquired the developer a few weeks ago, and it’s here. However, it’s not called Replay anymore. Say hello to GoPro Quik.
Quik’s approach to video editing is that it should be easy to get something fancy looking in a few seconds. You can select up to 200 (!) photos and videos for a clip, then apply a pre-configured style with opening text, filters, and music. You can tweak each aspect of the style, change the cropping, and trim the video. You can save your videos or share them immediately to another app.
The app has support for grabbing files from the device storage or directly from Google Photos. The cropping also adjusts automatically based on facial detection. It comes with a few dozen styles, more than 70 audio tracks, and the option to use your own music.
2. Adobe Primer Clip
Premiere Clip is the toned-down mobile version of Adobe’s popular video editing software, Premiere Pro. Android users have a good number of options for video editing apps. Despite the options, none of them are “perfect” in terms of features and abilities.
However, Adobe Premiere Clip brings mobile video editing closer to perfection. Additionally, since Premiere Clip is free, you can use some of the basic desktop features without cost. Adobe knows you may not want to do much hardcore editing on your phone, so you can use the automatic editing mode to let Adobe make cut and add a soundtrack for you. It’s not much, and it’s pretty similar to Google’s auto-awesome feature, but it’s handy to have.
If you want to get a little more control, you can switch to Freeform mode. Here, you can split clips, add multiple clips together, crossfade between them, and add your own soundtrack. If you’re used to a proper non-linear editor on desktop computers, you’ll probably find it lacking, but for quick edits on your phone, it’s very easy. This approach makes much more sense than trying to shoehorn an entire desktop editor interface onto a tiny screen that your thumbs already struggle with.
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While the app is simple to use, it’s not very flexible. You can edit multiple clips together, but you can only add one soundtrack file. That audio file will always start at the beginning of your project, as well. If you want to start playing a song or a sound effect halfway through your video, you can’t really do that.
With the WeVideo app for Android, you can quickly edit and publish video clips while on the go. The app even syncs to your WeVideo account in the cloud, so you can continue your work from a browser on your desktop computer.
If you don’t already have a WeVideo account, the app will create one for you when you first log in. By default, you get a free Lite account, which comes with 5GB of storage and 15 minutes of export time per month. It also caps your export resolution at 480p, but you can pay a small fee to upgrade this on an ad hoc basis. And if you want higher capacities and resolution for all of your videos, you can always upgrade to a paid account at any time.
For a mobile video editor WeVideo has an incredibly simple interface with basic tools that work well. Plus, it syncs to the cloud, so you can access and even edit your projects from your computer. A tool for adjusting video and audio speeds would be a welcome addition, as would be customizable themes. For a dead simple editor that can put together video clips in a flash, WeVideo impresses. But know that it lacks any truly powerful tools to make granular edits. For those, you’ll have to upload your project to the Web and finish from a computer. Perhaps the best thing about WeVideo for Android is the app’s interface. It’s as simple as it gets and should be easy to pick up even for those without any video editing experience at all.
What we like most about PowerDirector, as opposed to the numerous alternative video editing apps out there, is that it’s available for Android smartphones, tablets, and Windows tablets. Therefore, if you’re not satisfied with your device’s native video editing app, which offer mostly trimming functions and nothing else, PowerDirector ensures you’ll have a rich experience. Indeed, there are other apps to choose from in the Google Play Store, but none of them comes close to matching its powerful set of tools for creating professional grade videos – through a mobile device, that is. In our case, we’ve been using the PowerDirector app with the LG V10, seeing that the phone is notable for its equally diversified video shooting portfolio.
Editing videos on the fly with our smartphones has never been this easy. The PowerDirector app taps into the power of today’s smartphones by eliminating the need to use a dedicated camera and computer to produce professional-grade videos. Instead, the smartphone and the PowerDirector app delivers the all-in-one solution that eliminates the need to lug around your typical camera and laptop – just to tackle a project of some sort.
5. Google Photos
Google’s Auto Awesome Videos combine your pictures and videos into an artistic short film, adding filters, cuts and some background music to an otherwise run-of-the-mill set of pics. The end result is quite impressive as well — stick around after the break and see how it’s done. Although it is powerful, creating Auto Awesome Videos in the new Photos app is actually incredibly simple if you’re willing to poke around through its features. With a little bit of time, and some help from Google’s tools, the end result will be an Auto Awesome Video that is something you can be proud of. Give it a title, save it and export that file to any service that suits your needs. Video editing cannot get any simpler than auto awesome.