Top videos you watch on TikTok and Instagram have often been produced on full-size PCs, but with smartphones offering more-capable video editing tools, more and more people are editing videos on the mobile devices themselves. Both Androids and iPhones now have a multitude of impressive video editing apps at their disposal. Some of the apps are template-based, requiring you to do no more than select your photos and videos to produce a compelling social video. Others give you nearly as much control as a sophisticated desktop video editing app, with tools for overlays, time remapping, motion effects, and audio editing. Here’s our take on the best of the mobile video editing lot.
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Adobe’s well-designed mobile app for Android and iOS, Rush, syncs projects to your Creative Cloud account so you can continue editing a project on Premiere Pro on the desktop, but you can use it for standalone mobile editing, too. Versions of Rush itself are available for macOS and Windows, as well. You can shoot video in the app either in a simple or advanced mode, which lets you manually set aperture and focus. Once you’ve got some content, you can add titles, soundtrack music, and graphics overlays. For vertical output like TikTok, the Auto Reframe finds the active area of landscape shots and crops accordingly. The standard adjustments for lighting and color are at your disposal, and you can add track overlays and speed changes. One thing you will not find are project templates like those offered by other apps here. After rendering a project, you can export it directly to Behance, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, or YouTube.
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iMovie was among the first truly functional mobile video editors. The way it handles timelines, letting you scroll the track with your finger rather than moving an insertion point cursor like you have to do on desktop video editors, was a major helpful innovation. The app — which is only for iOS, of course — lets you manage all the standard video joining and trimming as well as tackling more advanced video editing, like green-screen compositing and speed altering. Among our favorite iMovie features is its Trailers templates, which show you exactly what kind of shots to insert. Another plus — you can continue editing projects on a desktop Mac in iMovie or Final Cut Pro.
Only available for iOS.
Canva targets small business owners who want to up their social media game to promote products and services. It’s completely template-based and loaded with stock content so you do not have to worry about being a pro editor to make things look nice. It lets you make something without needing a single shot of your own. But you can, of course, use your own video clips and photos, as well as do fancy things like stacking simultaneous videos in a vertical layout or use overlays that you can crop. That said, the app lacks some basic video editing features like adjusting light and colors. You can think of it more as the video equivalent of a graphics design application, with strengths in text, shapes, and borders. Canva is available for free use, but many of its features, stock content, and templates require a Pro subscription, which also adds collaboration features for design teams.
This well-designed free app (owned by TikTok creator ByteDance) makes short work of creating shareable videos, thanks to its ShortCut option. With CapCut, you select clips and photos, and the app adds background music and effects. It added a video shake effect and flame overlays to one test video, but it took a couple minutes to render 30 seconds worth of clips on my Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra. You can split clips, add text, remove backgrounds from shots with people, and even use overlays with transparency. When you’re done, the suggested place to share your work is —you guessed it — TikTok.
Available for both Android and iOS.
InShot is a fun-looking app that lets you produce not only video compilations but also collages and photo edits — but that does not mean it’s weak in video tools. When you start, simple help tips show you how to split and trim clips, zoom in on the timeline, and swap clip positions. One of its strengths is that it gives you a number of stickers to overlay on your videos, in addition to text. Unlike competing video app Splice, InShot lets you easily position your overlays either by dragging the item around with a finger. Picture-in-picture, masking, cropping, and speed changing (including one-click freeze frame) are all at your disposal, as are a generous helping of transition styles. Surprisingly, the app even offers keyframe editing, which lets you animate effects. Background music is available to add from a decent library of stock, but there’s no image stock. The app is free with ads and watermarks on your output; you can remove ads for a one-time $ 3.99 or better, remove both ads and the watermarks — as well as getting more effects and stickers — for $ 2.99 per month, $ 9.99 per year, or $ 29.99 forever.
Available for Android and iOS.
Splice has just about the slickest interface of any mobile video editing app, with a clear workflow and all the tools you could want. You can easily create picture-in-picture overlays (with transparency), chroma keys, masks, and speed changes. The app also supports HDR output. Nifty transitions are at your disposal as well as glitch and vintage effects and tons of text styles. You do not get quite as much stock content or objects to overlay as you do in PowerDirector’s mobile app, though Splice’s music library is excellent. The price, is a bit steep, however, starting at $ 2.99 per week or $ 9.99 per month.
Available on Android and iOS.
Vimeo is the video hosting service used largely by movie and video professionals. In addition to hosting videos, the company puts out a screen capture program called Vimeo Record and a mobile video editing app called Vimeo Create. Vimeo Create makes it easy for marketers or just regular folks to put together a compelling piece of video. The template-based app is free, but some templates require a $ 24.99-per-month Pro account. Accounts can also take advantage of stock libraries of video and music. Luckily, you can filter template options to find the free ones. Adding video can be slow, but the app emails you when it finishes processing. The app lets you add stickers and text with animations, and it automatically applies template-based transitions. It does not offer much in the way of detailed editing options like keyframes, overlays, or time remapping. Many of the stickers and styles are suitable for creating engaging sales and marketing quick takes, so this highly automated tool is best suited for people in those fields who want to produce something good-looking without getting into the weeds of video editing.
Available only for Android.