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Review: Adobe Premiere Clip for Android

In late 2014, Adobe unveiled a mobile editing app called Premiere Clip for iOS--a well-designed and useful app, if not a full-fledged pro editing solution like Premiere Pro. Here we look at the recently introduced Android version to see if it measures up to the iOS app and what, if any, new functionality it introduces.

Uploading to Creative Cloud

After I added some basic title slides at the beginning and end, I chose to finalize the video by uploading it to my Creative Cloud account. This process is designed to send the entire project and supporting files to your CC files folder where it will be synchronized to your other devices that are running Creative Cloud.

I was slightly alarmed when this realization hit me: My phone was uploading all of these video files on my mobile data connection. Since I have a most-envied Verizon unlimited data plan, this didn’t concern me except for my poor battery life. However, other users, BEWARE! This could leave a nasty surprise on your next cellular bill. Remember to check the hard-to-find option to enable WiFi uploading only by tapping on your user name under the “hamburger” menu (Figure 1, below).

Figure 1. Be sure to enable WiFi uploading only, lest your upload to Creative Cloud eat up your monthly data allocation.

A Cautionary Tale

Before going all-in with this Android version of Premiere Clip, I must share a cautionary tale of my experience with the app for the last few months. After I completed my edit of the “Salsa Challenge,” I tried repeatedly to upload the project with its assets to Creative Cloud for editing in Premiere Pro. Despite repeated attempts under different circumstances and many emails with Adobe's engineers, it simply would not work. I was greeted with either an unexplained error or no activity at all.

In addition to this, I upgraded to a 2015 Moto X, downloaded Premiere Clip, logged into my Adobe ID again and found... wait for it... NOTHING! My projects did not show up in my other device despite being logged into the same account. I was told to try duplicating the project on the old device to see if that would trigger a sync... no luck. I tried creating an all-new project with just one clip. This did manage to upload to CC for editing in Premiere Pro, but both devices would show only the projects on the device. It was as if the cloud sync simply didn't work at all (Figure 2, below).*

Figure 2. One of the possible error messages received when trying to export to Premiere Pro

Adobe's final well-intentioned suggestion was for me to try clearing the data of the app on the old device with my “Salsa” project on it. The only thing this accomplished was to delete the project from the app in its entirety. This was confirmed by Adobe when they checked their servers and found no trace of the project. Fortunately, since I had already exported an MP4 of the edit, we can all still enjoy my Oscar-worthy “Salsa Challenge.”

For now, I suggest that you either stick with the iOS version of Premiere Clip (which performed better in previous tests) or don't count on reliability with the Android version.

One of the changes I appreciated seeing is the ability to work on projects when offline. My previous review on iOS found that not to be the case. There is a warning triangle that remains present when you’re offline, but you can continue to edit and work with your projects (Figure 3, below).

Figure 3. Using Offline mode still allows you to work

Premiere Clip for Android still won’t take the place of a full-fledged NLE, but perhaps it can be useful as a Snapchat competitor. You can spend time editing a video to your liking and have it disappear forever whenever you want.

*In our initial tests with Beta and first release versions, we found that the cellular option was on by default. However, we confirmed with current versions that that is not the case. We determined this by installing the app from the Android Market for the first time on a new device other than the device we tested with.

Related Articles
With Adobe Premiere Clip, you can shoot your video with your iPhone or iPad, perform edits on that iDevice using Premiere Clip, then transfer the video and the project to the Creative Cloud and bring it into Adobe Premiere Pro on your workstation for finalization. Here's how.
Premiere Clip, Adobe's new iOS editing app, is a simple cut/trim editor, not a full-blown editing app. How useful is it for pro editors who need to do mobile editing on-the-go?