Splice is a video editor from GoPro, the company behind some of the world’s best action cameras. You can import your photos and videos into the app, to edit them into a movie. The way the app works is simple: you just import the videos that you want to edit, and mark the important parts (Hilights, as the app calls them) of the video. You can then add music to the video, and then the app automatically clips the entire video according to the Hilights that you marked.
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CutStory is a video editing app for Instagram stories. It makes it easy to chop a longer video up into the required length for Instagram Stories (15 seconds maximum per clip). This way, you can repurpose longer videos—from your brand’s YouTube library, for example—and create more robust content without having to continually stop and start the camera.
This great video editing app for iPhone takes you back to old times. You transform the video into a variety of vintage film styles with many combinations to choose from: black & white, sepia, color, vintage sepia, 20's movie or 60's home video, etc. You can speed up or slow down the videos. And several sound options like Video, Piano 1, Piano 2, Movie Projector, etc. are provided to add more feeling to your movie.
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Video doorbells and home security cameras offer many of the same benefits. Both will show you what is going on outside of your home, both offer motion detection and motion-triggered recording, and in most cases, both let you speak to whoever is out there. That said, the simple fact is that security cameras lack the doorbell component. If you're downstairs doing the laundry and your phone is upstairs, a security camera won't tell you that someone is at the door, but the doorbell will (when pressed).
Magisto is a very simple video editor app. With this app, you don’t get any features such as adding text overlays, tilt shifts, etc to your video. However, the charm of this app lies in its simplicity. Within the app, you can import your photos and videos, and choose a theme for the video. There are a number of themes available, such as dance, among many others. Once you’ve done that, you get the option to add music to the video, as well as options to decide how long you want the video to be.
Of course, none of the extras matter if an app can't do the most basic editing tasks. At this point, however, all of the products included here do a good job of letting you join, trim, and split video clips. They also let you make use of special effects such as animated transitions, picture-in-picture (PiP), chroma-key (the technique that lets you place a subject against any background, often known as green screening), and filters that enhance colors or apply creative effects and distortions. With most of them you can add a multitude of timeline tracks that can accommodate video clips, effects, audio, and text overlays.
Support for 4K video source content has become pretty standard in video editing software, but the support varies among the products. For example, some but not all of the applications can import Sony XAVC and XAVC-S formats, which are used by Sony's popular DSLRs, mirrorless cameras, camcorders, and professional video cameras. The same holds true for the H.265 High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) standard. Most of the applications here now can import and export HEVC, though there are still a few holdouts.
In the midrange, there's Adobe Premiere Elements, which is cross-platform between Macs and PCs, and offers a lot more features and lots of help with creating effects. Professionals and prosumers have powerful, though pricey options in Final Cut Pro X and Adobe Premiere Pro. Final Cut is a deceptively simple application that resembles iMovie in its interface and ease of use, but it offers massively deep capabilities, and many third-party apps integrate with it for even more power. It also makes excellent use of the Touch Bar on the latest MacBook Pro, as shown in photo above. Premiere Pro uses a more traditional timeline and adds a large ecosystem of companion apps and plug-ins. It also excels in collaboration features.
PowerDirector is one of the most comprehensive video editor apps on this list. It comes with a ton of features, including quick editing tools, various effects and other tools, and it even comes with things like a collage maker and slow motion support. The interface is relatively easy to work with and it utilizes the classic timeline editor method. It should be more familiar for those who video edit often. It’s free to download and use, but you’ll need to fork out some extra money to get all the features. This is a for real video editor, especially for larger screens like Chromebooks or tablets.
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For those who have an iPhone or intend to buy one, iMovie is absolutely the best iPhone video editing app. It helps you turn the various video (including HD videos) you shoot into a gorgeous home movie with movie themes, titles, transitions and sound effects, etc. And you can also shoot a new video clip inside the application for better video editing on iPhone.
Michael Muchmore is PC Magazine's lead analyst for software and web applications. A native New Yorker, he has at various times headed up PC Magazine's coverage of Web development, enterprise software, and display technologies. Michael cowrote one of the first overviews of web services for a general audience. Before that he worked on PC Magazine's S... See Full Bio
Imo is a simple video calling and chatting app. It boasts compatibility for 2G, 3G, 4G, and LTE networks. That makes it good for those stuck on worse connections. It's also compatible with both iOS and Android. Otherwise, there isn't much to this one. That's not necessarily a bad thing. Aside from text chatting and video calling, this app doesn't have any bloat holding you back from a simple experience. It's free to download and use. The only thing you'll need to deal with is some advertising.
I test each service's prominent features, but it's up to you to decide whether or not you need dial-in numbers, VoIP, or both options for your audio, and whether or not you need video calls in addition to screen sharing. Some services offer both teleconferencing with dial-in numbers (local or toll-free) and VoIP calling, while some offer just one or the other. A few offer international dial-in numbers. Adobe Connect doesn't offer teleconferencing at all but can be integrated with a number of other services. Most offer video calls via webcam, although a few don't.
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