It feels like every day that another Android phone is announced with the ability to shoot 4K video, or slow-mo video, or stabilized video with OIS. This is all fine and dandy, but what are you supposed to do with all of these fancy video clips you shoot? Sure, you can import your clips onto your computer to edit them in a fancy NLE like Final Cut Pro X or Adobe Premiere, but a lot of video captured on smartphones is shot in the spur of the moment, and fully fledged video editing software can be intimidating for the average user. Apple simplifies the process with iMovie on iOS, and while it’s not nearly as powerful as some of the other options on Windows or Mac, it’s plenty good enough to make a decent-looking video, complete with multiple clips, transitions, and background music. So where’s Android’s answer?
Now, maybe the reason we haven’t seen a simple video editor for Android lies within its capabilities themselves; 4K video is taxing enough for a desktop computer, and even though smartphones shoot in a much lower bitrate than most dedicated cameras, it’s still a lot to process, especially if you’re editing multiple 4K clips in a timeline alongside other layers like audio. Maybe that’s one of the reasons Apple hasn’t brought 4K video support to the iPhone yet. If you’ve ever tried exporting video on Android (via apps like instaShot that let you crop videos for Instagram uploads), you’re probably familiar with the long wait times while the phone has to render and export the video clip. Perhaps Google didn’t want to push a video editor with performance being bogged down by such large videos.
On the other hand, maybe Google is just being lazy. I mean, iMovie has been available on the iPhone and iPad for years, and it’s always worked without a hitch. I remember using the app to stitch together a few video clips back on my iPhone 4, and even then it was a relatively quick process given the limited hardware at hand. Now that flagship phones are coming with eight-core processors and up to 4 GB RAM, there’s some serious potential for a great on-the-go editing experience. Of course, there are things like processor clock speed and graphics chip consider, but any of today’s SoC’s should far outclass the iPhone 4. There are apps like HTC Zoe, which creates a sort of montage using a few selected photos and videos stored on your phone, but there’s not near enough control here, not enough customizability. I want something where I can quickly shoot a video, edit it, and upload it to YouTube all from my phone, and Android just isn’t quite there yet.
Do you have an iPhone and like to edit video on iMovie? Or is it a feature left untouched for you? And if you’re on Android, would you want to see a good video editor? I know I sure would.