Creating Video Recording and Video Editing Features for an iOS and Android App

According to Wyzowl’s The State of Video Marketing 2021 report, the number of businesses using video as a marketing tool has increased by 41 percent since 2016. This extensive report also says that:

  • videos have helped 84 percent of marketers generate more leads for their businesses
  • 69 percent of customers would rather watch a video than read text to increase their brand awareness
  • 85 percent of customers expect more videos from brands in 2021

 

Adding video recording and editing tools to your business app can significantly improve the user experience, leading to better user retention and stronger brand loyalty.
 
In this article, we’ll discuss the best practices of adding video functionality based on examples from the education, telehealth, and real estate domains. We’ve chosen these domains to cover different perspectives on implementing video functionality. However, our findings and tips can relate to any kind of business. We’ll also talk about top performing products on the video recording and editing landscape for iOS and Android that you can take as models.

How can video recording and editing functionality be useful for your business?

If you want to increase traffic to your website, generate more leads, increase sales, and help clients better understand your products and services, video is your medium of choice.
 
With the help of video/screen recording tools, you can:

  • make how-to videos and tutorials
  • create interactive product demo videos
  • show your products or services in action
  • communicate with your clients through video messages or video calls

 

With video editing functionality, you’ll be able to:

  • make fast-forward and slow-motion videos
  • add text, subtitles, music, and voiceovers
  • cut, rotate, and compress videos
  • merge videos

 

Why your app should adopt video recording and editing functionality

Coming up with your own video recording or editing functionality for your app can be advantageous, as you can include features that are tailored to your business purposes.

Implementing video functionality for the healthcare industry

With the increased number of virtual doctor visits because of the COVID-19 pandemic, video communication is a necessity for telehealth businesses. Videos make it possible to safely contact patients, improve remote patient monitoring, and maintain relationships between patients and doctors.
 
By adding video recording or editing functionality to your healthcare app, you can allow therapists to make tutorials to educate their patients on how to deal with certain health issues. You can also add customized and thematic templates that will simplify tutorial creation for doctors.

For example, the telehealth company CaptureProof has come up with a solution for doctors to better diagnose their patients remotely. With the help of an app for Android and iOS, patients can send videos and images of how their treatment is progressing and get advice on visible injuries or traumas.
 
In the mental therapy app Talkspace, users can contact therapists through live video sessions. Plus, patients can send an unlimited number of video messages to their counselors. There are also many helpful videos in the app that users can watch before contacting a therapist.
 
At Yalantis, we’ve developed the telehealth app Healthfully, which allows video calls between patients and doctors.

video consultation with a doctor in healthfully


Read also: Why Create a Custom Telehealth Solution and Essential Functionality to Consider

Implementing video functionality for the education industry

For the education sector, video functionality allows teachers to create personalized tutorials and helps learners better grasp information. In your educational app, it would be great to add the possibility for teachers to create animated videos. You might also provide a set of templates teachers can choose from depending on their specialization.
 
For instance, Screencast-O-Matic is a perfect tool for creating tutorials and educational videos that also has a set of editing functions. You can use Screencast-O-Matic to trim and cut videos, add music and text overlays, and narrate videos.
 
With Screencast-O-Matic, Teachers can provide ongoing mentorship through video communication with their students as well as give students assignments to create their own videos.

screencast o matic video recording app

Edpuzzle is another useful video tool that helps teachers create and upload unique videos for their lessons. It also lets teachers use videos from other sources and add questions for students to answer after watching.

Read also: How to Build a Prosperous Language Learning App 

Implementing video functionality for the real estate industry

The real estate industry is also actively using video tools in its products. Videos can create the effect of actual presence, increasing the chance of selling a property remotely. Real estate agents can record and save video showings of properties to share with potential buyers. 
 
HomeRover is an app that allows real estate agents to virtually show properties and invite up to three participants. Afterward, agents can replay these showings or share them among clients, colleagues, and friends.
 
The real estate app by Realtor.com, available for iOS and Android, is for people looking to buy a new home. Potential homebuyers get to browse photos and videos of places they like. The app also allows homebuyers to schedule a video call with a real estate agent or schedule a video showing of a property.

All of the above examples show that video functionality can help users fulfill diverse goals, from solving health issues to buying a home. The best thing about videos is that they simplify communication and eliminate lots of obstacles. For instance, they can eliminate the time a patient would spend texting with a doctor about an urgent problem or reduce the effort required of a student to learn a lesson compared to reading a textbook.
 
If you’re planning to add video recording and editing functions to your iOS or Android app, you’ll need a clear vision of the possibilities each platform offers. In the next sections, we discuss them while drawing on examples of cutting-edge iOS and Android video recording and editing apps.

iOS platform capabilities for building video functionality

The native AVFoundation framework for iOS provides essential services for working with audiovisual media. You can implement almost any video editing or recording functionality using this framework.

Examples of top-performing iOS apps for creating video

iMovie, one of Apple’s flagship products, is built with the help of native app development AVFoundation tools. Some of the app’s best features include video filters, the possibility to add animated titles and soundtracks, and 14 trailer templates designed by some of the world’s top film producers. In the latest version of iMovie, users can import and share 4K videos, adjust the color of any title, change the intensity of applied filters, and customize the background color of the video with a color picker.

imovie video editing app

What’s great about iMovie is that users can store video clips made with the iMovie app in their Photos library or transfer them between Apple devices via AirDrop and iCloud Drive. After uploading to the cloud, users can finish editing videos using iMovie on any Apple device. There’s also the ability to use AirPlay to wirelessly stream video to an Apple TV. 
 
Moreover, beginning with iPhone 6, all iPhones have the iMovie app pre-installed. Owners of the latest iPhone 12 Pro Max can even shoot high dynamic range (HDR) videos, which now are the most true-to-life and exceed 4K videos in quality.
 
iMovie allows for editing videos with such steps as trimming and adding filters, images, and soundtracks. Users can also save and share videos in standard dynamic range (SDR) so they can be displayed on smartphones that do not support high dynamic range (HDR).
 
Splice is another powerful yet minimal example of iOS video editing app development. It’s considered a powerful video editor for its simplicity combined with sophisticated functionality. You can just import the videos you want to edit and mark the parts of the videos you want to use. Then the app automatically compiles a video according to the selections you’ve made.

splice video editor

Because Splice isn’t overloaded with video editing functionality, it’s great for quickly and easily documenting work projects and creating presentations. Just like iMovie, Splice provides a number of filters (including filters that imitate different lenses) and sound effects.

Android platform capabilities for building video functionality

There are lots of video editing apps for the Android mobile platform to choose from nowadays. However, Android still doesn’t provide any native solutions for video editing and video recording app development. It’s possible to go for third-party alternatives, but the end result won’t be very smooth, since mobile video solutions for Android are inevitably slower and less elegant than those for iOS because of hardware and software limitations.
 
In the past, Google tried fixing the “Android video problem” by providing its own Android video editor. It was launched in 2011 for Android 3.0 Honeycomb, but it didn’t succeed. Google abandoned it in 2013.
 
The absence of native libraries and frameworks supported by Google makes it challenging to create video editing functionality for Android. But there are apps like KineMaster and VivaVideo that can edit videos on Android well enough.
 
KineMaster calls itself a pro video editor, but it’s easy enough for anyone to use. It allows a user to download media, effects, overlays, and doodles. 
 
VivaVideo is an attractive video editing app available for iOS, Android, and Windows devices that provides over 200 filters, stickers, themes, text arrangements, and transitions for post-processing. What’s even more impressive about VivaVideo is that it lets you film content from within the application while applying special effects in real time.
 
Developing an app like KineMaster or VivaVideo will require working with cross-platform software such as the FFmpeg multimedia framework, which is written in C and Assembly.

vivavideo app
 

We’ve already written an article describing video processing with FFmpeg for Ruby on Rails. It provides examples of FFmpeg filters and Frei0r plugin effects. Check it out for more detailed information on this multimedia framework.
 
The ready-made solutions we’ve mentioned for creating video content seem great, but they still have a number of drawbacks. Access to additional functionality like unlimited video length and exports without watermarks are usually paid.
 
If a user doesn’t want to opt for paid services, there will be watermarks on every video they create. Adding video functionality to your app will enable users to create unique videos without watermarks or with your logo.
 
Now that we’ve looked at the potential advantages of creating video functionality for different businesses, let’s switch to hardware limitations you should take into account before adding video recording and editing functionality to your app.

Hardware characteristics and breakthroughs to consider when building video functionality

Apple’s iPhones are famous for recording fabulous slow-motion videos. Nevertheless, slow-motion video recording on Android is now common on high-end devices:

  • The Sony Xperia 5 II is the first device that supports 4K HDR resolution at 120 fps for slow-motion video recording.
  • The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra provides slow-motion recording at 960 fps, which is the same as the previous year’s Samsung Galaxy S20 series.
  • The Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro, Mi Mix 3, Redmi K20 Pro, and Poco X2 also allow slow-motion video recording at 960 fps.

 

At the same time, the iPhone 12 Pro Max can record slow-motion videos in 1080p resolution at 120 fps and 240 fps. These characteristics haven't changed since the release of the iPhone X.
 
At Yalantis, for building video functionality on Android we use an Android API for enсoding/decoding by means of MediaCodec and MediaMuxer. For video processing, we use the Android NDK API for working with the OpenCV library.
 
If you want to add video recording and editing functionality to an Android app, you’ll have to deal with the still limited video functionality of the majority of Android devices. But as the number of devices running Android grows, hardware capabilities are slowly improving.

How to make it easier for users to create great videos

It’s important to ensure your users can create videos within your app effortlessly. You can achieve this simplicity by implementing video editing or recording functionality on the back end.
 
Magisto, available for both iOS and Android, is a great example of an app for those who don’t have the time to edit their own videos. The app’s video editing logic is implemented on the back end, so there’s no trimming or editing in Magisto. 
 
Users simply choose from a set of themes and soundtracks associated with those themes, and Magisto does all the work and returns a finished video. To make this happen, users need to upload a video and select an editing style from Magisto’s library. Then artificial intelligence edits the video.

magisto video app

Magisto users can pay for features including cloud storage for videos and the ability to process longer videos.
 
Following the example of Magisto, you can also implement video functionality on the back end, as it proves to be time-saving and easy for users.
 
Incorporating video recording or editing functionality into your business app can result in lots of benefits. However, developing an app for both Android and iOS devices can be challenging due to the different hardware and software capabilities of these platforms. Yalantis has extensive experience building video functionality and can help you tailor it to your specific business needs.

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