Vimeo, the online video community hosting site, has just released a new version 2 of its free Cameo video editing app for the iPhone.
Yes, we're talking about video editing on a phone. While you can do basic timeline editing on a tablet with apps like CyberLink PowerDirector Mobile or Pinnacle Studio for iPad, that's still too much interface complexity for easy editing with finger-tip control on a small screen.
Instead, Cameo runs on a smartphone with a delicate balance — providing enough functionality to be useful, but not adding too much complexity to overwhelm casual users.
You start by importing saved movie clips from the iPhone's local Camera Roll or downloaded from Vimeo online. Then rearrange the clips, trim the ends (by eye more than by precise frames), add title text and optionally mute or boost the audio.
You also can make global adjustments to the entire movie, setting the font/style and color for any titles, adding a soundtrack from the provided royalty free library of hundreds of tracks and selecting a file-style visual theme from eight options, including Heatwave, Silhouette, and Vivid.
However, you may miss the ability to add your own music, or include photos, or apply video transitions or effects to clips.
All this runs very responsively on my iPhone 5, with the video clips playing smoothly while editing, and titles and theme effects applied in real time during playback.
When you're done editing, you can render and save the final movie back to the Camera Roll, and upload and share in the cloud through Vimeo, Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter with options to create a title and choose a thumbnail image.
At each step, Cameo provides simple drag and drop organization tools, to re-order, duplicate, and delete clips, duplicate projects to experiment with different edits, and re-edit exported movies.
The result is a little gem of an application for doing quick assemblies — strong enough to use to assemble snazzy-looking results, but easy enough to use that you can do real editing on the fly — or in the back seat of a car, or even in bed.