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GoPro's new mobile apps take all the work out of video editing

GoPro's new mobile apps take all the work out of video editing


And they work with your phone's footage, too

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Today, GoPro is rebranding and relaunching the two mobile video editing apps that the company bought back in February. One is focused on giving users an automatic editing experience, allowing them to create stylized videos with just a few taps. The other offers more fine editing controls, and is for more advanced users. But this isn't just news for people who own GoPros, because both apps — named Quik and Splice, respectively — will also work with footage that you've shot with your phone.

2015 wasn't a particularly great year for GoPro. The company's revenue and stock price fell, which led to layoffs and scaled-down financial projections for 2016. (In that light, it's also no surprise that today's news was announced just two days ahead of the company's next quarterly earnings report.) A big part of those struggles is the incredible smartphone boom. Millions of people around the world now find themselves equipped with phones that can shoot 4K, HD, and even super slow-motion footage.

Quik automatically edits your videos for you

The two new(ish) apps address this problem head-on, while also alleviating another: the headache of having too much GoPro footage to choose from.

The first is Quik, which used to be known as Replay. It's designed to create videos that look professionally edited in just a few taps, whether or not you know how to edit. Users can select multiple videos that are stored on their phone, pick a soundtrack, and Quik automatically edits the videos together to the beat of the music. The app uses algorithms to search for the best moments in each video (much like the TomTom or Graava action cameras do), and can even add transitions, effects, and filters. When the video is done, users can either post directly to social media or go back in to make minor tweaks to the finished product.

If that still sounds like too much work, Quik also scans your phone's videos and presents you with an automatically edited highlight video every week — similar to how the Google Photos app creates videos from photos and footage shot in the same location or around the same timeframe.

Splice, which keeps its pre-acquisition name, allows for deeper editing. Users can change the speed of their clips, choose from more filters, transitions, and text options, and Splice is capable of making much more specific edits to the footage and the audio mix. (For example, you can narrate a video, or add sound effects, or mix multiple audio tracks together.)

GoPro has faced increasing competition in the action camera market over the last few years from stalwarts (Sony), startups (Graava and Revl), and newcomers (TomTom and Garmin). The company is also planning to release a drone and a 360-degree consumer camera this year.

But when the company released its quarterly earnings report in February, CEO Nick Woodman was completely focused on software. "We recognize the need to develop software solutions that make it easier for our customers to offload, access and edit their GoPro content," he wrote. Woodman clearly understands that GoPro users often spend hours wading through footage looking for the best shots.

The effort to address that problem starts with Quik and Splice, two apps that also give GoPro a way into the lives of smartphone users who might not own one of the company's cameras. Both apps will be available for free starting today — Quik can be found in the respective app stores for iOS and Android, while Splice will remain iOS-only for now.