We’re finally getting LumaFusion on a device not made by Apple. It’s happening!
If you’ve been keeping up with the news, you may have heard that LumaTouch (the company behind LumaFusion) announced it was working on an Android version of the app last year with a targeted 2022 launch. It turns out the company is going to deliver on its promise.
At a February Samsung Unpacked event, the Korean electronics manufacturer showed their hand in a big way. Samsung announced that its new Galaxy Tab S8 tablet would be compatible with LumaFusion, bringing to close years of hopeful wishing and speculation from Android diehards.
This could save sagging Android tablet sales, positioning the devices as a budget/creator-friendly alternative to Apple’s pricier offerings.
To understand the gravity of the situation, you have to know that there are currently no Android apps that come within a mile of LumaFusion. Of course, there are video editing apps for making short social media-friendly videos.
Still, LumaFusion is a full-blown NLE (Non-Linear Editor) that’s long been the best video editing app on iOS. I wrote about its experience, especially its jaw-dropping 4K editing performance on the iPad Air 4.
Everything from cutting multiple video and audio tracks to applying special effects is doable on LumaFusion. So when I say it’s the best mobile video editing app, I’m not exaggerating.
If you’re dusting off that old Andriod tablet or shopping around for a new one, you may want to hold off. For starters, the actual release date has yet to be announced, and not every current Android Tablet will be able to run LumaFusion. Additionally, pricing details are still to come.
Samsung announced that “LumaFusion for Android would be available for download from the Galaxy Store within the first half of 2022.” However, in a blog post from LumaTouch, the company said it was “not ready to give a firm date yet.”
That being said, it does seem like the app will launch this year based on previous comments made by LumaTouch. But, whether your device will be able to run it is another matter.
In a press release from Samsung, it’s mentioned in the footnotes that LumaFusion will only run on Android devices with Android 11 or later.
Sadly, that means your older Android tablet may be too short to get on this ride if it doesn’t support the update to Android 11. With some manufacturers selling devices that lag behind the latest Android release (currently Android 12), you’ll want to check what version any new tablet will support before purchasing.
This app won’t be free, however. While LumaTouch is reluctant to share the exact price, it has mentioned that it expects the price to be in line with the $30 iOS version. Compared to most apps on the Google store—which are either free, very cheap, or subscription-based—the price tag does stick out.
Still, I’d much rather pay $30 now than $15 or more every year—I’d say it’s a good deal based on what you’re getting. When the app eventually launches, you’ll buy it on the Samsung Galaxy Store and the Google Play Store. The company clarified that point via a Tweet after many believed the app would only launch on Samsung’s app store.
What We Know So Far
There’s very little information regarding LumaFusion on Android. Still, there’s one prominent feature that users of both iOS and Andriod devices will be happy to hear—the app will support project compatibility between both operating systems.
The ability to switch between the two versions on different devices makes the app more viable if you own each device. It also makes it possible for iOS users to abandon ship and get an Android tablet for editing without losing all of their previous work.
What’s not clear is how this will work since the two versions will have different builds initially.
LumaFusion is currently on version 3.0 for iOS, but Android users will be stuck with the 2.4 version from late 2020 for the foreseeable future. According to LumaTouch, the Android build’s development will eventually catch up with the iOS version, though it’s unclear when that will be.
Don’t get me wrong, LumaFusion 2.4 is good. It’s just that LumaFusion 3.0 is better. You can see the complete list of new features in 3.0 here, but the highlight is that you can now edit directly off an external SSD. As someone with a 64GB iPad Air 4, this makes a significant difference in how I edit.
Android Tablets Look Better Than Ever
Performance across many devices is the big asterisk associated with LumaFusion on Android. Unlike Apple’s closed-loop system, Android devices are different from one manufacturer to the next.
While the team is building LumaFusion from the ground up to serve as many Android devices as possible, the many variables across devices make it impossible to develop an app that will perform similarly on every Android tablet.
Flagship tablets with cutting-edge chips will be able to leverage LumaFusion the best. Samsung claims that the Galaxy Tab S8 will handle 4K editing—budget devices probably won’t be able to do that.
Still, if you’re editing 1080 videos, budget options could be a good choice, including some that debuted quite recently. The Nokia T20 and TCL Tab Pro 5G are two tablets I tested and reviewed myself, and there are options like the Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 or the Lenovo Tab P11, all of which range between $250 to $400.
On top of LumaFusion coming to Android, it’s also coming to Chromebooks. The news does make me regret selling my Google Pixelbook, but on the other hand, I’m excited to see new Chromebooks built for video editing.
There are plenty of Chromebooks with powerful internals that could take advantage of everything LumaFusion has to offer, which could finally make them palatable to users other than students.
It’s a great time to get an Android tablet or Chromebook if you’re interested in mobile video editing, especially if you’re tired of giving Apple your money. LumaFusion on Android won’t be the same experience at first, but LumaTouch has proven itself a developer capable of optimizing the app beyond what should be possible.
The real test will determine whether the team can execute a smooth experience across various Android devices. But, if LumaFusion ends up running well on $250 Android tablets, we could be looking at a game-changing tool for video editors.
A few more editing tools for your toolbox:
Cover image via LumaTouch.