Today’s tablets and phones have all the processing power you need for creating incredible movies, on the go. Here are three apps that can help.
Apple’s $5 iOS video editing app is both slick and simple. It lets you create movies from your own videos and photos stored on your device, or transform them into a Hollywood-style movie trailer. iMovie is (mostly) easy to use, and it helps you create professional-looking results with just a few taps of the screen.
Fire up the app, and click the + sign to start a new project. iMovie lets you choose between a standard movie project, or the Hollywood-style trailer. If you opt for a standard project, you can choose a style to apply, Most of them are sophisticated enough for business use. You can then choose to insert your own video clips and still photos or record new content for the movie.
The interface is mostly intuitive, though I had to search the Web for help on a few points, such as how to split a video clip—which was very easy to do once Google pointed me in the right direction. You also can add audio tracks to your movies, or record new audio files if necessary.
Creating a Trailer is slightly more time-consuming, but not any more difficult. iMovie’s wizard walks you through the whole process, from adding cast members and video clips to guiding you through the shots that make it look like the work of a pro.
iMovie takes up a lot of space on your device—704MB on my iPhone—and it is taxing on your phone, so you may notice it running slowly at times. But that’s a small price to pay for a pretty slick video editing tool.
VidTrim’s name offers a pretty good hint at what this Android app does: trim video. Luckily, that’s not all it does–it also allows you to grab frames, change the resolution, apply some basic effects and more–but it’s not the most elegant video editor I’ve ever seen.
VidTrim is available in a free, but ad-supported version, as well as a $2.70 Pro version. Those ads are annoying: I accidentally tapped them more than once, thinking they would direct me to features in the app itself. It’s an easy mistake to make, because the ads stand out against VidTrim’s bland interface, which features simple icons directing you to its features.
Once you skirt the ads, you can use these icons to trim, transcode video to another resolution (up to 720p on the free version, 1080p on Pro), merge files, grab frames, save as an MP3, rotate, and apply various effects, such as black and white or blurred filters. Using all of these features is easy, but I didn’t like how VidTrim bumped me back to the main menu–rather than back to the page offering all of the effects–every time I finished using one.
I also don’t like how the free version saves your output with a watermark. It means updating to the Pro version is a necessity for anyone who’d like to produce a video that can be shared in a professional setting. Still, $2.70 isn’t terribly expensive, and VidTrim covers the basics of video editing.
Adobe Voice‘s tagline says it can help you “show your story,” and it’s an apt description of what this iPad app does.
What it’s not is a typical video editing app; in fact, Adobe Voice is not really a video editing app at all. But it’s worth including in this roundup because it does let you create professional, elegant videos that are perfect for use in various business settings.
Adobe Voice lets you create “stories,” which are told via animated videos. And while calling these “animated videos” is simply a fancy way of saying “slideshows,” these are not your average slideshows. Adobe Voice guides you through the process of creating your slideshow, from helping you pick a title to structuring its contents.
Stories are organized into pages. Each page features audio that you record, which makes this a useful tool for creating presentations, marketing videos, and more. Adobe Voice adds background music to your audio, which goes a long way toward making the end result more pleasant. You then complete the page by adding icons, photos, or text. You can choose from the app’s incredibly extensive library of icons and photos, or you can upload your own.
You can add as many pages as you need to tell your stories, but you do have limited control over the layout of those pages. Adobe Voice limits you to five layout options: display one thing, two things, a fullscreen photo, a thing and a caption, or a thing and a full photo. You can choose from 32 themes, many of which are business-friendly.
Once your video slideshow is complete, it can be shared via social media or email. You will need to sign in to the app in order to share videos, which can be done using an Adobe Creative Cloud account or Facebook sign-in. You also can save video files directly to your iPad’s camera roll.
Adobe Voice features lovely layout, making it as easy to look at as it is to use. And it’s free. What’s not to like?
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Liane Cassavoy is a veteran technology and business journalist. She contributes regularly to PCWorld and has written about business issues and products for Entrepreneur Magazine and other publications. She is the author of two business start-up guides published by Entrepreneur Press.