Using the best video editing apps allows owners of smart devices to transform their clips into cinematic masterpieces. There is no need for a lot of fancy kit, all you need is a good quality video editing app. The right app will turn video into glossy and professional looking clips, that can be constantly tweaked and improved wherever you are.
The apps we have chosen here are intuitive and more powerful than you'd expect, making them the ideal place to start your video editing journey. However, if you need something that packs more of a punch, check out our roundup of video editing software. And if you want a bigger screen to edit on, we've selected the best laptops for video editing just for you.
01. Adobe Premiere Rush (cross-platform)
The best video editing app for short videos
Platform: iOS, Android, Windows, MacOS | Multi-track editor: Yes | Export directly to YouTube: Yes | 4K support: Yes
Let’s be honest: on first encounter, Adobe’s professional video editing software, such as Premiere Pro, After Effects and Audition, can be a little intimidating. However powerful these tools are, there’s definitely a considerable learning curve, and newbies wanting to knock out a quick video for YouTube, Snapchat or Instagram Stories will often be looking for something easier to pick up and play with. So last October, Adobe launched Premiere Rush, which is designed specifically for anyone wanting to process video clips quickly and upload them to a social network.
Available for free on iOS, Android and desktop, the app is designed to be easy to use. That’s obvious the moment you open it up, and see a simplified interface featuring large icons and panels, making it especially great for touchscreen use. And when you come to start using it, typical tasks like adding videos to the timeline through drag-and-drop, or mixing in background music, are intuitive and fuss-free, involving the minimum number of clicks.
The app offers four video and three audio tracks for editing. As you’d expect, its export options are optimised for every social media platform you’ve heard of, including Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Vimeo. Alternatively, you can just export the video to your local machine, or save it to the cloud so you can access it on all your devices.
Overall, this tool is by no means as powerful as Premiere Pro, and you wouldn’t want to make a feature film with it. But if you’re just putting together relatively short and straightforward online videos, it’s going to have everything you need. (And if it doesn’t, its Creative Cloud integration means you can always open your saved Rush project in Premiere Pro and tweak it there instead.)
02. GoPro Quik (cross-platform)
Edit and enjoy your GoPro photos and videos
Platform: iOS, Android, Windows, MacOS | Multi-track editor: Yes | Export directly to YouTube: Yes | 4K support: No
If you have a GoPro then the Quik video-editing app is for you. Quik makes it easy to automatically import your footage and create videos synced to music in just a few clicks. You can add photos and time lapse sequences to your videos and impress your friends with gauges and graphs to show how high and how fast you went.
Create video clips to share on YouTube and Facebook and go through frame-by-frame to find the ideal high-quality still that will want to make viewers take a look at your clip. If you subscribe to GoPro Plus you get access to a huge variety of extra soundtracks and you can auto upload photos and videos to the cloud for editing anywhere.
03. LumaFusion (iOS)
The most professional video editing app for iOS
Platform: iOS | Multi-track editor: Yes | Export directly to YouTube: Yes | 4K support: Yes
If you’re looking for professional-level editing on your iPhone or iPad, then LumaFusion is quite frankly the only game in town.
Aimed at mobile journalists, filmmakers, and video producers wanting to capture footage while on the move, it offers six video/audio tracks for photos, videos, titles and graphics, plus an extra six audio tracks for narration, music and sound effects, in an interface that will be familiar to Final Cut Pro users.
It’s incredibly feature-rich, offering native support for 4K UHD, 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 more.
Note though, that’s 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.
04. KineMaster Pro (Android)
The most professional video editing app for Android
Platform: Android | Multi-track editor: Yes | Export directly to YouTube: Yes | 4K support: Yes
KineMaster is a top-notch, pro-level video editing app for Android. Supporting multiple layers of video (on supported Android devices), images and text, as well as multi-track audio, it enables you to trim video clips and layers precisely at frame-by-frame granularity, while audio clip timing can be adjusted with sub-frame accuracy.
KineMaster also offers instant edit previews, precise volume envelope control, colour LUT filters, speed controls, chroma key compositing and 3D transitions. It’s free to download, but note that with it adds watermarks to videos, which you have to take out a subscription to remove.
05. iMovie (iOS)
The best free video editing app for iOS
Platform: iOS | Multi-track editor: Yes | Export direct to YouTube: Yes | 4K support: Yes
iMovie is Apple’s very own video editing app, and it’s been shipping free with new Apple devices for a while now. It’s not as powerful as Luma Fusion, but on the plus side that means it offers a clean, intuitive interface that makes it easy to edit footage and add titles, music, voiceovers and photos.
First launched in 2010, the latest version of app supports 4K on iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPad Air 2, iPad Pro, and later devices. You can save videos to the iCloud drive, stream them to an Apple TV via AirPlay, and everything integrates beautifully with Apple Photos, Mail and Messages.
While we wouldn’t necessarily recommend iMovie for professional video editing, the friendly and straightforward interface provides everything you need to knock out a short, good looking video. And as the app comes free with your iPhone anyway, there’s absolutely no reason not to give it a go.
06. FilmoraGo (Android)
The best free video editing app for Android
Platform: Android | Multi-track editor: No | Export direct to YouTube: Yes | 4K support: No
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 can help make your videos look impressively professional thanks to a range of themed filters and effects,
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. Admittedly, 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 either.
07. Apple Clips (iOS)
The best video editing app for kids and families
Platform: iOS | Multi-track editor: No | Export direct to YouTube: Yes | 4K support: No
Apple Clips is a fun app that 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, and featuring characters from Star Wars and Disney, it’s lightweight stuff, and we wouldn’t previously have even included it on this list. However, the recent update to the app in April has brought it a little closer to being a serious video editing app.
The latest 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 to give your videos a retro video camera look.
08. Filmmaker Pro (iOS)
Pro-level video editing app with some unique features
Platform: iOS | Multi-track editor: No | Export direct to YouTube: No | 4K support: Yes
Filmmaker Pro is another good choice for pro-level video editing on your iPhone. It 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.
09. Power Director (Android)
Solid, mid-level video editing app for Android
Platform: Android, Windows Phone | Multi-track editor: Yes | Export direct to YouTube: Yes | 4K support: Yes (with in-app purchase)
Cyberlink’s PowerDirector is kind of an Android equivalent of iMovie (above). The app’s easy-to-use interface lets you 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 you’ll have watermarks added to your videos, but a one-off $5 in-app purchase will remove these, as well as letting you export at 1080p rather than 720p.