Android has no lack of capable mobile video editing solutions (as can be seen in this earlier article) but there is one app that’s still missing when looking over at the iOS side of things: LumaFusion. All in all, it’s the most advanced video editor across mobile platforms and with its feature set (almost) matching viable desktop NLEs, it’s been a favorite among professionals and enthusiasts – it can even be used with M1 Macs as a desktop software now. So many Android users have been anxiously asking the question: When will LumaFusion make it to Android?
A couple of years ago, while attending one of the MoJoCon/MoJoFest conferences in Ireland, I was able to have a quick chat with Chris Demiris, Co-Founder of LumaTouch and Principal Engineer of LumaFusion. I can’t recall the exact wording but he basically said that while they would love to bring the app to Android, the platform and its chipsets aren’t ready yet to master the complex and demanding standards the software requires to work properly. Android’s device fragmentation wasn’t really helping either.
Apparently, things have changed in the meantime. While Android still isn’t as unified as Apple’s iOS/iPadOS, Google has made an effort to streamline the platform more and more over the years while at the same time increasingly more powerful chipsets have arrived. On 26 October 2021, LumaTouch officially announced on Twitter that they are actively developing a version of LumaFusion for Android and ChromeOS. Yes, you heard that right, ChromeOS as well!
So what can we expect? Some might be sceptical of how such a demanding and resource-intensive app like LumaFusion would perform across the wide field of Android devices. And yes, it’s probably safe to say that your chances of editing four layers of 4K video on a 100€ ultra budget phone are probably rather slim. The sheer fact however, that they are developing a version for ChromeOS as well is a hint in my opinion that they have probably come up with a solution that will also allow good performance even on less powerful devices. What is ChromeOS you may ask? It’s a special light-weight operating system developed by Google that was initially centered around web applications via Google’s Chrome browser but has matured to run installed native software as well. The devices ChromeOS runs on are almost exclusively laptops called “Chromebooks” and because of their very affordable price and easy handling have become extremely popular particularly in the educational sector. Most Chromebooks nowadays can also run Android apps natively. That being said however, Chromebooks have never been known to be processing power houses, to my knowledge there is currently no such thing as a “flagship Chromebook” comparable to high-spec’d premium smartphones. So having that in mind, the decision to bring an app like LumaFusion to ChromeOS should not come easy without having a strategy to address this shortcoming. To overcome this, LumaTouch has partnered with a company called Solbeg Soft to work some engineering magic. You can watch and hear LumaTouch principal engineer Chris Demiris and the involved Solbeg Soft team talk about it a bit at the Android Developer Summit 2021 (I already included the right time stamp in the embedded YouTube video, just press play) :
So I’m quite confident that LumaFusion will be a great experience on Android as well, maybe not quite as unified across the device spectrum as with Apple, but great nonetheless and an amazing asset for creative and productive Android users.
And let’s be honest, the fact that certain abilities are only available for a given device is often not really of importance when you take it to the max. Let’s say device A can run 8 streams of 4K video simultaneously and device B can only run 2. How often do you need to run more than 2 streams of 4K video? If it works for you and the job you need to get done, that’s plenty. It’s an argument that can also be applied to phoneography in general: ‘Proper’ cameras mostly have better sensors, better lenses, better zoom capabilities etc. – yet, you don’t necessarily need them all the time but still produce amazing work.
There is however one thing I quickly want to talk about before finishing off this post: While LumaFusion is also great to use on a smaller phone screen (depending on the complexitity of the project, I might prefer KineMaster or VN), I personally think that its true strength lies in using it with a tablet like an iPad or iPad Pro. The problem with Android: While there is certainly no lack of powerful smartphones that can (almost) match Apple’s iPhone, premium tablet territory has been mostly a wasteland on Google’s mobile OS. The only competition coming at least somewhat close to an iPad in terms of processing power has been Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S series with the latest iteration being the Tab S7/S7+ as of December 2021. Just recently however, Chinese big player Xiaomi launched – for the first time globally – a new version of its Xiaomi Pad, the Xiaomi Pad 5. While the Qualcomm Snapdragon 860 isn’t exactly the latest & greatest anymore now, it’s still quite powerful as yesteryear’s flagship processor and far more capable than the chipsets used in basically all other Android tablets currently available with the notable exception of Samsung’s Tab S7/S7+. I actually just got the Xiaomi Pad 5 myself and I’m certainly very much looking forward to testing LumaFusion on it.
Speaking of which: We have yet to see the first actual beta release but I suppose it will happen within the next three months. If you want to be part of the early access beta team, you can apply here.
Short update: During the recent Samsung Unpacked event (9 February 2022), LumaFusion was showcased running on the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Tab S8. LumaTouch co-founder Terri Morgan used the opportunity to gather some information about what we can expect from LumaFusion on Android in a blog post on the LumaTouch website which you can find here.
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