What is the purpose of this comparison?
There are many mobile video editing SDKs that help companies decrease time-to-market, improve user engagement, and build an active community around their app. Thoroughly testing each of them would take too long, so we saved your time and did it ourselves. The list of tried products includes our own Banuba AI Video Editor SDK, Meishe SDK, PixelSDK, Img.ly, Very SDK, Movieous, and Tencent UGSV.
This comparison is mostly aimed at companies that want to develop short video apps, as the feature set is picked for this niche. It has everything you need to make a decision on which product to choose, both from a technical and commercial standpoint.
How to approach this comparison
Imagine you want to build the next TikTok, gain a billion users, and take the world by storm. But you know that the competition is stiff, and you need an edge to get ahead. You also need to launch your product quickly to get aboard the hype train and start increasing your user base and gaining profit.
You quickly found out that products like Meishe SDKs and Banuba AI VE SDK could be just what you need. And after a quick google search, you now have a list of names. Now you just need to follow this comparison to pick the option that fits your product roadmap best.
Top Video Editing SDKs
Let’s start by introducing the competitors.
Banuba AI Video Editor SDK
This is a powerful and feature-rich software developed by a company focusing on Artificial Intelligence and Augmented Reality. One of its biggest selling points is a wide variety of AR filters on the level of TikTok, Instagram, and Snapchat or better.
Companies using Banuba AI Video Editor SDK include Chingari, Jalsa, and many others. You can join them and reap the same benefits.
This is a Beijing-based software company focusing on video and audio editing technologies. They offer an SDK for TikTok/Likee competitors and video communication apps.
The developers of this SDK decided to focus on convenience. It has good documentation and is easy to work with but is limited in its feature set. Like many other SDKs for iOS and Android, it can work with photos and videos.
This company started out with a photo retouching tool for Twitter and then moved into more complicated AI-based products. Their SDK is notable for supporting mobile web frameworks (Cordova and Ionic) which aren’t commonly used for building apps with video editing capabilities.
The company behind Very SDK has been working with video and photo processing for about 20 years. Their product demonstrates this experience with a wide range of mobile video editing features, filters, and effects.
This SDK is developed by the Chinese software giant Tencent. The name UGSV stands for “user-generated short videos” and straightforwardly states what this software is for - brief clips that mostly target social media users. This SDK is still in beta - this affects its stability, performance, and related business processes. However, it can be purchased and used in third-party applications.
Another Chinese SDK with a wide array of useful features.
Methodology and criteria
We are going to compare the SDKs by five major aspects:
- Video editing functionality: trimming, subtitles, templates, etc.
- Camera features: zoom, flash, hands-free mode, etc.
- Effects. AR masks, background replacement, etc.
- Technical parameters: support for cross-platform frameworks, AR cloud, etc.
- Commercial parameters: price and pricing options, support response speed, trial period availability, and the like.
They are going to be further expanded with specific characteristics and features so that the comparison becomes more precise and in-depth.
We have gathered this information by studying the products, contacting the companies developing them, and getting information from publicly available sources.
Now, without further interruption, let’s compare some software.
Video editor SDKs compared
Video editing functionality
These features are at the core of any self-respecting video editor SDK. The important thing here is to strike a balance between the number of features and ease of use. In the case of short video apps, we are talking about casual content creators, not professional video editors. Adding too much complex functionality can turn the users away.
- Video Trimming. Removing the beginning and end portions of the clip or increasing their length. This is the basic video editing option that makes it possible to crop clips to the necessary length.
- Timelines. A frame-by-frame representation of the video, allowing users to place effects at specific points. Without it, editing a video becomes nigh-impossible.
- Music. Adding a sound track from the phone storage to the clip. Without it, the clips will be much less engaging.
- Picture-in-picture. Overlaying one video onto another. This is especially useful for reaction videos, one of the most popular and lucrative formats.
- GIFs. Adding GIF images to clips. Another feature that lets users easily modify their creations for better shareability.
- Text. Placing text over videos. A simple function that is good for captioning, adding comments, etc.
These features govern the use of the camera and everything related to it. All SDKs that we cover can record videos but there are extra functions that differ between products. These extras either save time or add more self-expression opportunities that attract users.
- Hands-free mode. Set a timer and start recording once it ends. A must-have feature for solo creators (e.g. dancers who want to record themselves performing).
- Voice recording. Picking up sounds from the inbuilt microphone. Saves time on recording.
- Slideshow. Making a video out of pictures from the gallery or taken at the moment. A good alternative to the common videos and another option for self-expression.
All kinds of video effects that make ordinary clips fun and crazy. This is where an SDK can really show off the modern advancements in augmented reality. Banuba AI Video Editor SDK, for example, boasts filters and AR masks on par with or better than those of TikTok or Snapchat. They will make videos much more shareable and attract new users to your app by sheer virality.
Another thing to note is that effects are not created equal. Similar AR masks from different vendors can differ in their look and reaction to lighting and gravity. Moreover, some SDKs (like our own) are optimized to show effects well even on older and low-end devices. Banuba AI Video Editor SDK covers 80% of the smartphones on the market.
Finally, there is a service component to this. Sometimes, you might need custom filters (e.g. country-specific, branded, or otherwise unique). Unlike some of our competitors, we at Banuba can make those for you quickly and for a reasonable price.
- Voice effects. Making users sound like robots, Disney princesses, opera singers, etc. Always fun for memes, pranks, and the like.
- LUTs. Color settings to give the video a different look and feel (e.g. black and white or sepia). It is simple to use but can really add style to the clip.
- Visual effects. Overlays changing the look of the video (VHS, rave, etc.) a solid boost in shareability and creative potential of the video.
- AR masks. Augmented reality overlays that are placed on people’s faces for comical effect. See apps like Chingari for examples of high-quality masks tailored to the region.
- Beautification. Automatically correcting the user’s face to make them look more attractive. This saves the creators’ time as they don’t have to apply makeup before filming. Moreover, beautification makes clips more shareable, as people are always willing to show off their good looks on social media.
- Background segmentation. Separating the background from the foreground and adding an image there. This can act as a “green screen” replacement or element of style, making the video look as if it was filmed in another country or even in space. Finally, it can also be a time-saver, especially if the creator’s flat isn’t very tidy.
The parameters that the users don’t know about but that are important to the developers.
- Android SDK. Android holds a much larger market share, so if you want to gain a larger audience, this feature matters a lot.
- iOS SDK. iOS has a lower market share than Android but iPhone users tend to spend more. Making an iOS app is a way to gain an audience with disposable income.
- Cross-platform framework support. Ability to integrate the mobile video editor SDK in apps built with React Native, Flutter, Xamarin, and other cross-platform frameworks. Such frameworks can significantly decrease the development time but not all of them are a good fit for short video apps. Ionic or PhoneGap, for example, don’t perform well enough for this purpose.
- AR cloud. Ability to download AR effects from the cloud servers, thus decreasing the app size. A single AR mask can take 1-3 MB of space, and including a lot of them in the app package will make it unwieldy and inconvenient. AR cloud lets users download the effects they like whenever they need them.
- User interface. Default UI that is included in the video editing SDK for iOS and Android. If there isn’t one you will have to create it yourself, which costs time and money.
- Music provider integration. Connection to a service that provides royalty-free music for users’ creations. This makes the people on your app and by extension the app itself safe from copyright claims. The music itself is generated by AI and separated into genres and moods so that the users can always find something that fits their videos. In the case of Meishe SDK and other products without this feature, you have to set up the integration yourself, spending valuable time finding the right one. Banuba AI Video Editor SDK can be connected to Mubert, while VerySDK uses Audionautix.
These are the business matters that pertain to each SDK.
- UI convenience. How user-friendly is the interface, on a scale of 1-5. The better your app looks, the better it will retain customers. Pick the SDKs with the most convenient UI for lower churn and quicker growth.
- Documentation. Publicly available instructions from the developers for the users. A well-documented SDK is easy to integrate and customize for your purposes. As the main point of using a third-party solution is to decrease time-to-market, having detailed developer notes is extremely helpful.
- Trial version. Ability to test the video editing SDK before fully committing to purchasing.
Different companies have different approaches to trial.
Banuba AI Video Editor SDK can be tried for free for 14 days.
Meishe SDK doesn’t limit the time of trial but places a watermark on all videos made during the testing period.
PixelSDK is priced per exported photo/video. As long as you don’t export anything, the SDK is free.
Img.ly offers 30 days of free trial for their product.
Very SDK lets the users test it for 7 days.
Tencent UGSV trial period lasts for 30 days.
- DIY integration. The client can integrate the SDK without help from the vendor.
- Support response speed. The time it takes for the company’s technical support to answer an inquiry.
Why Banuba AI Video Editor SDK
There are reasons why this product is used in applications having millions of users, especially in the short video apps category.
- Performance. This SDK is optimized to run smoothly on both top-notch and cheap iOS/Android devices. This allows companies to bring advanced video editing and AR features to more than 80% of all smartphone users.
- Immersive AR Content. Banuba offers an amazing variety of filters: AR masks, color effects (LUTs), and visual effects. All of them are available to be downloaded on demand using Banuba’s AR Cloud service to decrease the app size. Moreover, you can order custom filters and get them ASAP.
- Data safety. Banuba’s AI Video Editor SDK doesn’t store or collect any personal information so there is no risk of losing sensitive user data.
- All-in-one. The SDK is enough for all the features a user needs to create cool and engaging videos.
- Customizability. We can add new video editing features on-demand and ship them to your app.
- Maturity. We have been in the AR and video editing market for more than five years. This means our product was well-tested in real apps and has shown its reliability.
The leading SDKs are powerful and reliable products. This article will help you choose the best one for your specific project. And now that you are already here, try out Banuba AI Video Editor SDK for free.