iMovie for iPhone is undoubtedly a winning add-on, especially for those who felt the iPhone 3GS’s ‘trim and upload’ skills didn’t quite measure up to expectations. But if chopping up video on-the-go is your reason for buying the HD-friendly iPhone 4, could you be doing better? Because the editing options on other phones look just as tasty and come built-in, rather than costing you extra via the App Store.
Nokia has been swift to make the most of the forthcoming Nokia N8’s video editing capabilities, unleashing an impressive walk through just days after Steve Jobs showed off iMovie for iPhone at WWDC. What’s great about Nokia’s effort is simply the fact that it comes onboard. Its storyboard appears easier-to-use, with a powerful text and transition tool and a remarkably breezy way to drop in still images and overlay music.
The N8’s real calling card, though, is its offering of USB back-up and the chance to snaffle files from any USB connected device. That means it can work much like a desktop when editing, feeding off an external source in order to keep your machine running at optimum space. iMovie might ‘just work’ but on first impressions, the N8’s editing suite appears even more powerful.
The Samsung Galaxy S has also been drawing plaudits for bringing a video editing package to the Android party. It’s not as enhanced as either the iPhone or the the Nokia N8, with more basic functionality. However, you can’t deny that working on a screen of its size (it’s four inches), makes editing a far more pleasurable experience and one more akin to slicing up clips on your laptop rather than your blower. Again, it comes built right in, trumping Apple’s insistence that iPhone 4 customers stump up yet more cash for an app that could so easily live on the homescreen from the get go.
To dismiss iMovie for iPhone, though, would be ludicrous. This is a feature which makes the most of Apple’s skills in this area, drawing on its previous with iLife and even Final Cut. Apple is, after all, at the very forefront of video editing technology. It’s just that, when it comes down to it, more tech savvy punters want and need greater options. Apple’s package is a winner, but for those who don’t want to follow the crowd (and that's a demographtic that’s growing massively) then it’s good to know that decent alternatives do exist.
Pleasingly, it also points to a new area opening up in the smartphone space. Simply shooting a naff, shaky clip and then slapping it on YouTube could well be on its way out, to be replaced by a more considered approach. Of course, there’ll always be room for those amateur efforts. But wouldn’t it be great if iMovie and its N8 and Galaxy S equivalents, heralded a time when even a feature length flick could be made on a mobile? The possibilities are endless.