With the processing power and cloud storage capabilities of today’s smartphones, sophisticated video editing is no longer restricted to desktop computers and expensive software. As our guide below on video editing apps for YouTube shows, both amateur and professional YouTubers are now able to edit their videos using the very latest apps available on their smart devices.
These featured apps are compatible with either iOS, Android, or both, transforming your phone into an editing suite capable of uploading feature-length clips to YouTube.
So whether you’re a YouTube pro boasting thousands of subscribers or simply want to share smartly edited home videos with family and friends on social media, look no further as we round up the top editing options.
Not working specifically with YouTube? Check out our round up of the best video editing apps for every platform. And for a list of top editing tools available for Mac and Windows, don't miss our pick of the best video editing software.
Video editing apps for YouTube: 5 best tools
Given that Adobe has been one of the market-leading names in video editing for many years, it should come as no surprise that it features in this list. The company’s Premiere Pro software has long been considered the gold standard in desktop video editing, and Premiere Rush is Adobe’s foray into mobile editing.
Designed specifically with YouTubers in mind, Premiere Rush aims to give smartphone users all the advantages of its highly rated desktop software without requiring the hours of tuition on the user’s part. It means Premiere Rush is more streamlined than its older Adobe sibling, with large icons and an intuitive drag-and-drop function making for quick and easy video editing on the go. Upon first opening the app, a one-minute tutorial provides a handy introduction.
Users can edit up to four video tracks and three audio tracks, while the range of tools includes customised titles, color corrections, speed adjustments, and a host of transition options. Adobe Stock can be accessed for imagery and graphics, while audio features include voiceovers and ducking.
Available on both iOS and Android devices, Premiere Rush comes as part of Adobe’s Creative Cloud package, meaning the same videos can be edited across Adobe’s suite, including Premiere Pro. A free starter package includes 2GB of storage, with a monthly subscription cost of $9.99 for the paid plan.
The KineMaster app is one of the most advanced smartphone editing apps currently on the market, boasting dozens of editing options and features that wouldn’t look out of place in professional editing software.
The app is free to use and download for both iOS and Android devices, but it should be noted that a subscription of $4.99 a month is required to not only remove ads but also use the videos without a watermark. Exporting at the highest quality (1080p and 4K) is also restricted to the paid model.
But this price point should not deter YouTubers serious about their video edits, for KineMaster boasts a slick and intuitive interface with a wealth of features. Users can edit multiple layers of video (up to nine depending on your device) and overlay up to four audio tracks on one clip.
Additionally, a powerful collection of tools includes eight blending modes and overlays, a reverse function that permits focal shifts and in-camera transitions, and a chroma key that can composite multiple videos, suited to green screen post-production.
For iPhone users looking to upload their videos to YouTube, it’s worth remembering that iPhones come with Apple iMovie free as standard. This is likely to provide most of the functionality you’ll require to get your videos into shape and upload them directly to your YouTube account.
Because of this, don’t expect iMovie to be flush with advanced editing options, and experienced video creators looking for a more professional-level service are likely to be underwhelmed.
Instead, iMovie is ideal for amateurs and newcomers to the field of video editing, with a useful selection of tools and a familiar user interface that should be second nature to users attuned to Apple devices.
You can import video straight from your phone’s camera roll and audio from your music folder, while the voiceover option allows you to record your voice directly over the chosen video. There is also a handful of preset theme options, along with project filters, soundtracks, and sound effects to choose from.
GoPro footage features regularly among the most popular videos on YouTube, as everyone, from skateboarders to cyclists and skydivers, shares their adrenaline-fueled adventures with an engaged audience.
The GoPro app allows users to sync their footage to their smartphone, ready to begin editing clips before uploading directly to YouTube. Editing tools include speed, sound, and color adjustments, freeze frame and reframe options, and a handy horizon leveling utility to make up for any wobbly camera work and ensure your final video appears level.
Stickers, title cards, and graphics can be added, and audio options include the ability to import your favorite clips to use as a soundtrack. There is also a selection of themes that come with preset audio clips, effects, and transitions to overlay on your video.
What’s more, this app can be used to control your GoPro remotely, enabling you to frame shots and start recording through its live preview. While the app itself is free to download on iOS and Android, a GoPro subscription gives unlimited and automatic cloud backup for all of your recorded footage.
Wondershare’s FilmoraPro editing software is one of the leading desktop suites on the market, and FilmoraGo is the company’s attempt to make a similar mark in the world of mobile editing.
The result is an easy-to-use app with a clean and slick interface, including a range of preset themes, titles, graphics, and filters that are especially useful when first getting used to the functionality. When ready to try and put your own spin on your videos, you can experiment with dozens of features designed with social media platforms firmly in mind.
The effects, stickers, and text overlays have a light and playful feel to them, while there's an in-built library of royalty-free music to choose from or the option to import your own. When you're happy with your finished work, the app supports direct upload to your YouTube channel.
Unlike its desktop sibling, however, the app doesn’t support 4K export, nor does it come with the ability to edit multiple tracks.