These days, the best video editing apps are surprisingly powerful. Which means we no longer have to be chained to our desktop computers to do creative and productive video editing.
There are Android and iOS video editing apps for seasoned professionals, nervous beginners, and everyone else in between. So whether you need to edit social media media, YouTube clips, short films, commercials, TV shows or movies, there's an app that can help improve your workflow, boost your work-life balance, and keep you organised when you're on the move.
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 faster and more intuitive than desktop software, and they tend to be cheaper, too.
But how do you choose the right app for you? Below, we've rounded up the best video editing apps available today, both paid-for and free. Also don't miss our round-up of the best video editing software for desktop computers. And you might also want to read our rundowns of best laptops for video editing and the best headphones for video editing as well.
The best video editing apps available now
Premiere Rush is a cross-platform, video editing app for the YouTube generation, allowing you to sidestep the steep learning curve associated with Adobe's more complex video editing tools, like Premiere Pro, After Effects and Audition. Instead, this app makes it easy to process your clips quickly and upload them to social platforms. Importantly, the app automatically converts your videos to the specific aspect ratios and quality levels required by each platform, so you don't have to worry about any of that.
Premiere Rush is not just useful for YouTubers, though. If you're a professional video editor, you'll be able 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.
Either way, the app's interface is nice and simple with large icons and panels, making it very straightforward for standard video editing tasks, such as dragging-and-dropping footage onto the timeline, correcting colour, mixing in music or voiceovers, or adding titles and transitions. There's a one-minute tutorial when you first open the app, but in all honesty, Premiere Rush is so simple you might not even need that.
If you're a subscriber to the Creative Cloud, you'll already have Premiere Rush. Alternatively, you can subscribe separately for $9.99 / £9.99 a month (also check our Adobe Creative Cloud discounts). There's even a limited free starter plan.
Either way, you'll get constant updates to the app without having to pay extra. The latest Decemeber 2020 update, for example, added new transitions, as well as enhancements to pan and zoom across all platforms. See our Adobe Premiere Rush review for more info.
The GoPro mobile app allows you to do two things: remotely control your GoPro device, and edit your GoPro footage. It automatically imports your action footage, and the provides a clear and simple to use interface makes it easy to do things like sync your clips to music, add photos, titles and time lapse sequences and include graphs based on stats of your movements.
We especially 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. We also like being able to go through your footage frame-by-frame to find standout still images.
Once your photos and videos are ready, you can directly upload them to Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and more, or via text or email. This 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 on the go.
LumaFusion is an iOS app aimed squarely at professionals. Produced by the creators of Pinnacle Studio, it's commonly used by journalists, filmmakers, and video producers 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 X, 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). The latest version, 2.4, was released last November, and included full HDR support with 10-bit processing to easily manage video content shot with the new iPhones.
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 even supports for XML export to 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.
KineMaster is one of the best video editing apps for professional use. With high-end feature such as blending modes, chroma keying, and audio mixing, this advanced app allows you to shoot, edit and export your footage on your phone or tablet. You can trim video clips and layers precisely at frame-by-frame granularity, and audio clip timing can be adjusted with sub-frame accuracy.
The app lets you upload multiple layers of video (on supported 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. Find out more in our KineMaster review.
If you have an iPhone, iPad or Mac, you'll have iMovie, as it's automatically included. This consumer app is a long way from being a professional, feature-rich tool like LumaFusion or Kinemaster. But if you're a beginner who wants to get started editing video and add titles, music, voiceovers and photos to it, it will do everything you need.
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, last October it added support for HDR content to tie in with the launch of the iPhone 12 Pro.
FilmaraGo offers a simple and practical way to edit online videos that doesn’t involve a steep learning curve. It’s very easy to use, and thanks to its themed filters and effects, can help make your videos look impressively professional.
Unlike the desktop version, it’s also free to download, and nor will it add watermarks to your clips. 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. So while it's quite a basic app, for example lacking multi-track editing and 4K support, it is very decent for a free one.
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. In the latest update last October, for example, the app got a refreshed interface, support for vertical and horizontal video, and HDR recording with the iPhone 12. For more information, read our Apple Clips review.
Filmmaker Pro is another good choice for video editing on your iPhone. This consumer-level app comes with some nice pro features, including 30 filters, 17 transitions and Audiometer assisted voiceovers. You also get video grading, a superb green screen support, nearly 200 different fonts for your text overlays, and some advanced tools such as chroma keying. Recent updates have added the ability to view, edit, and share High Dynamic Range videos and select the number of times an audio track is looped.
Note that, like many apps on this list, it's 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, 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.
If you want a video editing app for your social media needs, then Inshot is a good choice. An all-in-one HD image and video editor for iOS and Android, it's specifically geared toward creating clips for social media. For example, it comes with pre-built canvas sizes for everything from IGTV to TikTok.
With a clear and easy to use interface, Inshot makes it smooth and easy to import, trim and edit your clips together, then add filters, stickers, captions, emojis, and other fun things on top, as well as free music and sound effects. The app is free, but comes with ads and videos are watermarked; both can be removed with a small monthly subscription. There are also one-off purchases for more advanced features.
Available for Android, ActionDirector's focus, as the name suggests, is squarely on capturing and editing action video footage. So as well as being a basic video editing app, it also offers some nifty action effects to apply to your shots.
For instance, you can slow down or speed up video segments with precision, to create eye-catching slow-motion or fast-motion scenes. You can also highlight specific sections of your video to replay or rewind. Beyond that the app also makes it easy to add titles and text, mix in music, and share video via social networks. Unlike the GoPro app, it even supports 4K for relevant Android devices. ActionDirector is free, with in-app purchases for certain features.