The best video editing apps are an exciting way for everyone from children to professionals to dabble with film production using smart devices. Although there is loads of powerful video editing software available nowadays, these apps are a great way to make videos look glossy and professional with minimal training or kit.
Video editing apps mean that anyone can play around with editing their videos on the move. (Although if you do want a bigger screen, then check out our rundown of best laptops for video editing.) These apps are intuitive, more powerful than you would expect, and a great place to start in your video editing journey. We have found 10 of our favourites to help get you started.
01. Adobe Premiere Rush (cross platform)
The best video editing app for short videos
Platform: iOS, 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 and desktop (Android is “coming soon”, Adobe says), 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. 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 three video/audio tracks for photos, videos, titles and graphics, plus an extra three 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.
03. 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.
04. 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.
05. 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.
06. Adobe Premiere Clip (iOS and Android)
The best alternative to Premiere Rush for Android users
Platform: iOS, Android | Multi-track editor : No | Export direct to YouTube : Yes | 4K support : Yes
If you’re an Android user, you’re going to have to wait a while for Premiere Rush (above) to arrive on your platform. But if integration with the Creative Cloud is the main thing you’re looking for, you’ll find this, to some extent, in the older but still robust Premiere Clip.
Clip is a fairly simple and lightweight app for stitching together photos and video clips on mobile. But it does allow you to import custom special effects from other Adobe CC tools. Plus, as you’d expect, it’s easy to export your finished videos to the Creative Cloud when you’re done. And like Premiere Rush, it's free to download, even if you don't have an Adobe CC subscription.
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.
10. Splice (iOS)
The best video editing app for action footage
Platform: iOS | Multi-track editor : No | Export direct to YouTube : Yes | 4K support: Yes
From the makers of the GoPro, Splice is aimed at people editing footage from that action camera, but it began life as an all-purpose video editing app and continues to serve that role well, whether the footage comes direct from your iDevice or elsewhere.
Splice is again pretty similar to iMovie, letting you import, trim and arrange video clips, and add transitions, text overlays, filters, titles and "documentary-style effects". Plus you can change the speed of your clips, which has obvious appeal to the GoPro user.
Splice also lets you lay down multiple audio tracks, offering you the use of free songs and sound effects, as well as syncing with your iTunes library. Best of all, it’s free to download, with no ads or watermarks.
One word of warning though: although the app has licensed the music so you can legally use it, that doesn’t apply to commercial use. So if you upload your videos to YouTube and try to monetise them, you may get a takedown notice for this reason.