The best video editing apps mean you don't have to have a powerful desktop computer to edit your footage. Whether you're editing videos for social media, tweaking YouTube videos or creating full commercials, TV shows or movies, you can now do a surprising amount of video editing on your phone or tablet.
Available for iOS, Android or both, the apps on this list will turn your device into a mini editing suite. You can use many of them in combination with desktop software for edits on the fly, or just keep everything within the app: it's up to you.
The best video editing apps offer a selection of powerful features, within a simple interface that's easy to use on a small touchscreen. They're often more intuitive than desktop software, and they tend to be a lot cheaper, too. Right now, there are so many different tools on the market that there really is something for all skill levels and budgets. So to help you choose between them, this post rounds up the best video editing apps available today, both paid-for and free.
That said, if you do prefer to get stuck into editing on desktop rather than on your phone or tablet, then check out our roundup of video editing software. You might also want to check out the best laptops for video editing and the best headphones for video editing.
Adobe's Premiere Rush is pitched as a cross-platform, video editing app for the YouTube generation. The idea is you don't need to embark on the steep learning curve associated with Adobe's more sophisticated video editing tools, such as Premiere Pro, After Effects and Audition. Instead, you can just pick up this easy-to-use app, process your clips quickly and upload them to social platforms. The app automatically takes care of the specific aspect ratios and quality required for each platform, saving you a lot of time and effort.
But it's not just for YouTubers, Premiere Rush is also useful if you're a professional video editor, as it enables you to take content you've been working on in Premiere Pro, and make further tweaks on your phone or tablet. You can then upload that content to the cloud, continue working on it in Premiere Pro, and so on. So there's basically a use-case for Premiere Rush, whatever your level of skill and experience.
The app features a simple interface with large icons and panels, making it very straightforward for standard video editing tasks, such as dragging-and-dropping videos onto the timeline, refining colour, mixing in music or voiceovers, or adding titles and transitions, even on the smallest of smartphone screens. There's a handy one-minute tutorial when you first open the app, but the app is simple that you might not even need that.
If you're already a subscriber to the Creative Cloud, then you'll already have Premiere Rush, or you can subscribe separately for £9.99 a month (also check our Adobe Creative Cloud discounts). There's also a limited free starter plan. Either way, you'll get constant updates to the app without having to pay extra. The latest October 2020 update, for example, added new transitions, as well as enhancements to Pan and zoom.
There were previously two GoPro mobile apps: one for remotely controlling your GoPro device and another for editing your GoPro footage. Thankfully, they've now been combined this into one app, and if you're a GoPro user, this is the one video editing app you definitely need.
With a very clear and simple to use interface, the GoPro App can automatically import your action footage, and makes it easy to do things like sync your clips to music, add photos, titles and time lapse sequences, incorporate graphs based on stats of your movements, and more. We also love the Horizon Levelling editor, which tweaks the angle of your scene to correct things if your camera wasn't mounted in line with the horizon. Plus you can go through your footage frame-by-frame to find the perfect still to promote your video.
Sharing your photos and videos once they're ready is easy, with direct uploads to Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and more, or the option to share via text or email. This video editing app is free, but if you take out a GoPro Plus subscription you get access to extra soundtracks and you can auto upload photos and videos to the cloud for editing anywhere.
Out of all the video editing apps on this list, this iOS app, LumaFusion, is the most directly aimed at professionals. Produced by the original creators of the award-winning Pinnacle Studio (which features on our list of the best video editing software), LumaFusion is commonly used by mobile journalists, filmmakers, and video producers wanting to capture and edit video on the fly.
This app for iPhone and iPad gives you six video/audio tracks for photos, videos, titles and graphics, along with an extra six audio tracks for narration, music and sound effects. The interface is pretty similar to Final Cut Pro, with its magnetic timeline, and the advanced tools on offer include insert/overwrite capability, keyframing, colour correction, full support for PAL at 25fps upon export, a fully featured audio mixer, lossless export, support for vertical video, advanced title creation tools and slow motion/fast motion (forward and reverse).
Once you're done, there are endless sharing options and exporting options. For instance, you can export at different resolutions, qualities and framerates, as well as exporting audio and video separately. The app has even added support for XML export to Apple Final Cut Pro X.
Note though, that there’s no syncing between devices as yet, so you can’t start editing on your iPhone and then continue on your iPad, for example. But as long as you're happy to do everything in one project on one device, then this is an excellent app. Particularly considering its very reasonable, one-off price, with in-app purchases for some of the more advanced features.
When it comes to the best Android-only video editing apps, KineMaster is up there. Powerful and versatile, this professional-level tool enables you to shoot, edit and export your footage all on your phone or tablet. And that needn't mean compromising on quality. With KineMaster you can trim video clips and layers precisely at frame-by-frame granularity, while audio clip timing can be adjusted with sub-frame accuracy.
The app enables you to upload multiple layers of video (on supported Android devices), images and text, as well as multi-track audio. Beyond that, it's packed with advanced features, including instant edit previews, precise volume envelope control, colour LUT filters, speed controls, chroma key compositing and 3D transitions. The app is free to download, but note that it adds watermarks to videos, which you have to take out a subscription to remove. You'll also need a subscription to export at 1080p or 4K.
You might not realise it, but you might already have the video editing app you need. If you have an iPhone, iPad or Mac, you'll have iMovie, as it's included for free in new Apple devices. Aimed at consumers, it's not a professional, feature-rich tool like LumaFusion. But if you're a beginner who wants to get started editing video and add titles, music, voiceovers and photos to it, that might be preferable, as it's much easier to pick up and use.
iMovie supports 4K on modern Apple devices, and as you'd expect, integrates beautifully with the Apple ecosystem as a whole. So for example, you can save your clips to the iCloud drive or stream them to an Apple TV via AirPlay, and everything plays nicely with Apple Photos, Mail and Messages too.
If you haven't looked at iMovie in a while, it might be worth checking out again, as Apple is constantly updating it. For example, in the latest big (August 2020) update for iOS, Apple added three new filters, Comic, Comic Mono and Ink, and 25 new soundtracks, which automatically adjust to the length of your video.
If you’re an Android user looking for a simple and practical way to edit online videos that doesn’t involve a steep learning curve, Filmarago is worth a look. It’s very easy to use, and thanks to its themed filters and effects, can help make your videos look impressively professional.
Unlike its desktop sibling, it’s also free to download, and won't stamp a watermark or place a time limit on your clip either, so it’s well worth giving a try. Some in-app purchases are available, such as songs and effects, but your videos can work perfectly well without them, and the internal ads aren’t especially intrusive compared to other apps, either.
One of the more lightweight and fun video editing apps on this list, Apple Clips allows you to create and send video message or tell video stories with filters, animated text, music, emoji, and stickers.
Primarily aimed at children and families, it’s lightweight stuff, and we wouldn’t previously have even included it on this list. However, successive updates continue to nudge it a little closer to being a serious video editing app.
Recently added features include more diverse sharing options (share videos via AirDrop or email, save them to Files, or upload them to cloud storage services); the ability to create songs in GarageBand and add them directly to new or existing videos; and a new camcorder filter. There's also a Duplicate button to make copies of your clips, and a Split button to divide your clip into two sections.
Filmmaker Pro is another good choice for pro-level video editing on your iPhone. This most advanced of video editing apps comes with 30 excellent filters, for example, not to mention 17 transitions and Audiometer assisted voiceovers. It offers video grading, a superb green screen support, nearly 200 different fonts for your text overlays and advanced tools such as chroma keying,
Note though that, like many tools on this list, the app is free to download, but doesn’t provide you with the full feature set; for that you’re directed to in-app purchases. It also watermarks your videos, and if you want to remove them then you’ll need a monthly or annual subscription. In other words, consider this to be a paid-for, subscription-based app, and treat the free download as basically a free trial version.
Cyberlink’s PowerDirector is kind of an Android equivalent of iMovie (above) – though it's also available for iOS. The app’s easy-to-use interface enables you to arrange and edit your scenes on a timeline, as well as add titles and transitions. There’s also a good selection of effects, the ability to add background music and voiceovers, a photo collage maker, and support for slow motion.
The downside of the free version is that there are watermarks added to your videos. But you can pay a $5 one-off fee to remove these, and that gets you 1080p exports rather than 720p, too.
If you want something for your social media needs, then Inshot is probably the video editing app for you. It's an all-in-one HD image and video editor for iOS and Android that's geared toward creating clips for social media. It comes, for example, with pre-built canvas sizes for everything from IGTV to TikTok.
With a clear and attractive interface, this app makes it smooth and easy to import, trim and edit your clips together, and then add filters, stickers, captions, emojis, and other fun things on top, as well as free music and sound effects to the audio. So while this isn't one of the most "professional" of video editing apps (in that it's only really for creating social videos), what it does, it does exceptionally well and it's very intuitive.