In recent years, web video conferencing has moved from a tech curiosity and gamer tool to a nearly ubiquitous component of most business telecommunications toolboxes. A key reason is an increase in the average Internet bandwidth most businesses enjoy, which has the effect of smoothing video conferencing sessions to nearly the same reliability and quality as voice calls where once buffering and sudden disconnects were the norm. Another reason is rising business travel costs, where establishing a quick video call between multiple participants can have the same benefits of flying those people to a central location to meet face to face. But another reason for its popularity is that the combination of video conferencing, online collaboration software, and smart meeting room hardware, like the Microsoft Surface Hub, can provide a data-optimized meeting environment you simply can't get any other way.
A tool coming to the latest versions of video editing applications is support for seamless transitions. Picture a scene showing people at a beach, and suddenly the sky zooms in and your in Rome or Paris, but it looks like you're in the same place because the transition glued the two scenes together using the sky. There are plenty of other examples of seamless transition; this magnificent video shows a good selection of them, and is partly responsible for starting the trend.
Quik is from a newer generation of video editor apps. It's halfway decent if you need something simple. The way it works is you add up to 50 photos and video clips into the app. The app then analyzes them and spits out a short video from them. Quik contains about two dozen video styles and you can re-order and customize your video before you export it. It’s not nearly as powerful as something like Adobe Premiere Clip or PowerDirector, but not everyone needs something that intense. It's free to download with no in-app purchases.
As with all software services, pricing and packages are an important consideration when it comes to video conferencing. The prices quoted and the product descriptions below are typically for the lowest level of service per user per month. (For more pricing information, click through to the individual reviews.) All but one of the video conferencing services I tested offers free trials (most for 30 days) and many don't require a credit card on file, which means you don't have to worry about being charged automatically when the trial ends.
VivaVideo is one of the exceptionally popular video editing apps. In practice, though, it's a very middle-of-the-road video editor. It works especially well for short clips for social media. The app uses a storyboard style of editing where you load clips, edit and trim them as needed, and then move on to the next segment. It includes over 200 video filters and various other effects, text input, and fast and slow motion support. VivaVideo has a free version that comes with a watermark and a time limit for any given video. You can remove these restrictions by buying the pro version.
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
Talking about features, LumaFusion supports up to 6 video and audio tracks for for photos, videos, audio, titles and graphics with an additional 6 audio tracks narration, music and sound effects. You also get a magnetic timeline which makes it really easy to manipulate clips once they are imported. There’s dozens of transitions and effects with the ability to layer effects. Finally, it also comes with dozens of royalty free music, sound effects, and more. If you really need a professional grade video editing app for your iPhone, you should definitely buy LumaFusion.
FilmoraGo for iOS is an easy-to-use app to take your normal, everyday videos into artist creations that will look like it cost hundreds of dollars to create. Just choose a video, select an overall theme and design for the video and add the music you like. It also provides basic video editing functions like trim, filters and transitions. Another great part is that, it automates your video, allowing you to just pick the best parts that you need and let the app do the rest.
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.