Last year, Google Photos treated iPhone and iPad users to a new, vastly improved video editor. Heavily based on the Clips app originally developed by Fly Labs and acquired by Google in 2015, the basic controls for working with multiple source videos in a timeline were much easier to see and use than other editors of the time, including Apple's own iMovie app. It has been a little more than a year since it launched on iOS, and now the new movie editor is rolling out to Android users.
YouTube has been the biggest video-sharing site out there for many years, but that doesn't mean that everything about it is good. Two of those not-so-good things include the Video Editor and photo slideshows, which are both sparingly used. For that reason, YouTube is discontinuing the use of these two features after September 20th, 2017.
Quik lets you select photos and videos from your device's storage or Google Photos library, then it analyzes them and automatically trims the best moments from videos and focuses on faces to reframe photos. You can still do that manually though if you prefer. Quik then chooses one of 28 styles, adds transitions, filters, graphics, and sounds from a collection of 70 included tracks or your own music library, and syncs the beat to the photo and video transitions.
These days, GoPro is the king of the hill for action and aerial photography. Sure, you could wrap some tape around your phone and send it up on a quadcopter or toss it into a sandwich bag and hope it doesn't spring a leak at the bottom of the pool, but those are terrible ideas—seriously, don't try them. Since you won't be putting your phone (or tablet) through near certain destruction, why not use it instead to edit those great videos? GoPro announced that it has acquired popular mobile video editing apps Replay and Splice. Both apps are currently iOS exclusives, but the company has plans to bring them to Android later this year.
Adobe Premiere has been around for Macs for about as long as I've been alive, and countless video editors swear by it. A bite-sized version came to iPhones and iPads a year ago. Adobe aimed this product at your everyman, not just folks who know how to maneuver panels around a timeline. Now an Android version of Premiere Clip has made its way into the Play Store.
As an Android user, you are forgiven for not knowing who or what Fly Labs is. The company's video editing suite of applications is only available on iOS so your exposure to its products may have been non-existent. But you're about to hear more about Fly Labs or at least its products' features since it has just been acquired by Google.
The company announced the acquisition on its site and Google Photos' product lead David Lieb reiterated the news, dubbing Fly Labs as the "creators of the world's best video editing apps." I don't know about the world's best, but Fly Labs has some very interesting products under its name. Clips puts fragments of videos together, reorders them, and tags music or voice recordings on top of them. Tempo edits slow-motion, fast-forwarded clips, and time-lapse videos. Fly uses gestures to edit videos, apply cuts and transitions, integrate picture-in-picture, or split the screen.
There are a handful of video editors available for Android, but CyberLink is attempting to raise the bar with the release of its popular PowerDirector software for Android tablets. Immediately upon opening the app, experienced video editors will see a UI that looks familiar to that they've been using on desktops for years, albeit much simpler. Here it is running on a Nexus 7.
The interface is somewhat cramped on this device, which is why the app requires an Android tablet seven inches in size or more to use. And let's be honest, video editing isn't a role phones are all that cut out for, regardless of how many CPUs or geebees they're packing.
YouTube is awesome, but it's anti-social. You create a video in isolation, upload it to your personal channel, and wait for the inevitable flood of ego-shattering comments. If someone does happen to like your work, they will copy the link and share it on Facebook, Google+, or any other social network where good words are occasionally tolerated, and you may never hear their feedback. MixBit is a more social experience, one where friends can work on videos together from the comfort of their mobile devices.
MixBit was founded by YouTube co-founders Steven Chen and Chad Hurley, which makes this a service worth keeping an eye on.
Okay, before you dismiss Viddy just for the Instagram comparison, yes, it's true that this app will take your videos and add an "artsy" filter, but it also comes with some handy clipping, scoring, and sharing functionality. You can send your shots directly to YouTube, your choice of social network, or publish on the Viddy stream. Which, at the moment, seems to be dominated almost exclusively by 4 month old things Eliza Dushku shared. At least for me, for some reason.
Viddy also includes a selection of songs you can use to create a soundtrack for your videos, presumably royalty free.
One of the worst phrases a human being can put together is "automatic video editor." The whole thing feels like it's set up for failure. Like "vasectomy in a box" or "snooki's pregnant." Add in "for Android" and, well, let's just say I've been burned before. So it came as an unbelievable shock when I tried out Magisto, which claims to be both of these things, and it was good. I mean, really good. It doesn't offer you any control at all, but it does the job for the regular Joe or Jane in fantastic form.