Software as a Service
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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Particularly intensive is the process of rendering your finished product into a standard video file that will by playable on the target device of choice, be that an HDTV, a laptop, or a smartphone. Most of the software can take advantage of your computer's graphics processor to speed this up. Be sure to check the performance section in each review linked here to see how speedy or slow the application is. In rendering speed testing, CyberLink and Pinnacle have been my perennial champs.
Many home security systems offer video doorbells as add-on components, but these devices typically do not work on their own and must be connected to a system hub. However, they usually interact with other system components such as door locks, sirens, and lighting. If you want a standalone smart doorbell that will work with other smart devices in your home, look for one that supports the IFTTT (If This Then That) internet service. With IFTTT you can easily create mini programs, called applets, that let IFTTT-enabled devices interact with each other. For example, you can create an applet that tells a Wemo Smart Switch to turn on when a Ring Doorbell is pressed, or have a D-Link siren sound when an August Doorbell Cam senses motion.
Video doorbells don't offer local storage for recorded video, so you'll have to subscribe to a cloud service in order to view your motion- and doorbell-triggered video clips. Expect to pay anywhere from $3 per month and up for a plan that gives you access to 30 or more days of video that you can download and share. If you want to view older footage, make sure you save your clips as they will be deleted after the allotted time is up.
Once you have found packages in your price range, the most important consideration is ease of use. Obviously, if the user interface (UI) is difficult for you and your colleagues to navigate and use, then it's going to cause delays in meeting start times, which will frustrate everyone. For each review, I discuss the ease of signing up, creating a meeting, inviting participants, and setting up audio and video controls. I also look at the user experience (UX) from the meeting invitees' point of view, which can make or break a meeting.
Using this app, you can create awesome green screen videos. PowerDirector also comes with tutorial videos for all of its functions. Most of its features are available in the free version, but upgrading to the full version allows you to remove watermark, ads, and even to extract videos in 1080 and 4K resolutions. It is supported in Android 4.3 and above.
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For presentations, screen sharing is important as are granular options such as the ability to share just one application (Microsoft PowerPoint, for example), document, or image or share your entire desktop. Most of the video conferencing services in this roundup also offer a whiteboard tool, which you can use to sketch out ideas or take notes during the meeting for everyone to see. You also need to consider what the participants are able to do, such as share their screen, enable their webcam, sketch on a shared whiteboard, and even take over the presentation. Think about how much actual collaboration you'd like in your meetings.
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
One easy way to safeguard your against property theft, home invasion, porch pirates, and even unwanted solicitors is to identify who is at your doorstep before opening the door. Enter the video doorbell, a first line of defense for homeowners that not only lets you see and speak with the person outside, but also records footage of visitors that approach your door while you're away or unable to answer. These devices typically use Wi-Fi to stream live video to your phone and offer a variety of features, including cloud video storage, motion detection, sirens, and interoperability with smart locks and other smart home devices. Read on to find out what to look for when choosing a video doorbell for your home.
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.
Movie Maker Filmmaker among the best free video editor apps currently available. You’ll be able to trim, crop, and reorder video content as well as set focal points. The app also boasts a variety of video effects and you can design your own custom filters, although that functionality isn’t amazingly powerful. It also has the rest of the basics, like music. The app has struggled with some bug issues since it’s major redesign, but it’s still one of the better video editing apps out there. It’s also completely free with ads.
The app also comes with lots of sound effects and supports voice over layering. There’s also support for stickers, emojis, filters, effects, transitions, color correction, and more. One important feature of Inshot Video Editor is that it also allows you to rotate and flip videos which comes in really handy in certain specific scenarios. Overall, this is a really good video editing app. The only flaw of the app that I find annoying is that the free version runs ads. If you can handle that, you are going to enjoy using this one.
Free video editing software often comes with legal and technical limitations, however. Some widely used codecs require licensing fees on the part of the software maker, meaning they can't offer free software that can handle these standard file formats. That said, the impressive open-source Shotcut does a lot of the same things that the paid applications in this roundup do, including things like chroma-keying and picture-in-picture. Shotcut is completely open-source and free, while another free option, Lightworks has paid options that remove a 720p output resolution limit. Note also that both Shotcut and Lightworks run on Linux as well as Windows and Mac.
There are plenty of business level video chat apps out there. They function differently from consumer level stuff. For instance, there is a larger emphasis on file sharing, attendance taking, and conferencing tools compared to something like Skype, WhatsApp, or Google Duo. Google Hangouts is slowly making its way to this genre. Some other good options include Zoom, Cisco Webex Meetings, GoToMeeting, and some others. The prices vary, but the software generally works okay. We only recommend these for business use, though. You can find our list of the best video conferencing apps at the button above!
Facebook Messenger is one of the most popular messaging apps on the planet. We know that a lot of people don't like the app. We agree that it still needs a lot of work. However, there are so many people that use Facebook that Facebook Messenger just makes sense. The video chat experience works relatively well. Since most of the people you know are on Facebook, it's easier to use this app than to convince everyone to join a new platform. Plus, the new ads rolling out aren't great. It's not perfect, but it's perhaps the most convenient of the video chat apps on this list. At least it's free.