Using the best video editing apps for Android and iPhone means you can cut content and trim clips wherever you are.
Our appetite for video content has led to an explosion of premium and free video editing software. While apps for editing videos can't match advanced tools like DaVinci Resolve, Adobe Premiere Pro, and countless excellent alternatives to Adobe Premiere Pro, they offer something else: editing professional-looking videos on-the-go.
Some of the best video editing apps in the app store can output at the same standards you find in the best video editing software. And they're helping content creators, marketing teams, and just about everyone else cut eye-catching video clips without needing high-end video editing computers and laptops.
Although apps like Google Photos offers basic trimming tools, these are often underpowered and offer less control over your videos. So, if you want to shoot, edit, and publish your work from your phone, you’ll find the best video editor apps help add professional post-production polish that you demand and your viewers expect.
We’ve tested the best video editing apps for Android, iPhone, and iPad to help bring your movies to life.
- Rise above the crowd - pair your videos with the best VFX software
Choosing a video editor: best apps
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Adobe Premiere Rush is our choice for best video editing app. It’s lightweight, easy and instinctive to use, with a delightfully simple interface, regular enhancements.
Best of all - Premiere Rush is multi-platform, effortlessly sliding into almost any creative workflow. Thanks to Creative Cloud support, you can edit videos across Android, iOS, and desktop devices without missing so much as a frame of footage.
When we tested the top video editing app, we felt it offered users an incredibly simple entry-point into video editing on phones and tablets. Admittedly, you’re unlikely to win an Oscar from any movie edited here, but it’s ideal for quickly building an edit on the go.
Outside of the effortless interface and experience, we were delighted to find a raft of updates. This includes access to an ever-growing stock media library, a clever transcription tool, and major performance gains. Adobe even claims the video editor app has been optimized for better battery life and faster exports.
Adobe Premiere Rush is available as part of a Creative Cloud subscription - either as a standalone app, bundled alongside consumer-level video editor Premiere Elements, or as part of the Creative Cloud All Apps package.
Read our full Adobe Premiere Rush review
LumaFusion is a video editor app synonymous with desktop-grade video editing. Although it’s not quite enough to hurl your PC out of the window, we’ve heard of editors using it to complete entire projects – and it’s easy to see why.
Rather than simplifying an app for video editing, LumaFusion embraces complexity, yet makes it accessible. There’s a multi-track editor – up to six for video/titles/graphics and audio; six more for overlaid effects, music and voiceovers. Tracks can be locked, hidden and muted, keeping everything manageable – even on an iPhone.
The magnetic timeline is flexible and responsive, even when juggling 4K footage, with a useful overview that lets you jump to any point in your edit. And there’s a multitude of effects, color-correction tools and audio mixing features to experiment with. Even the up-front cost, which might look off-putting, is reasonable when you realize it’s a one-off and not a subscription.
In short, if you have video-editing needs on iPhone and iPad, LumaFusion should be your first choice, unless you can’t get on with the interface or it’s overkill for your needs. Right now, it's our top pick for the title of best video editing app.
Like the idea of LumaFusion’s effects but not its price tag? LumaFX (opens in new tab) carves that bit off into a standalone app, available for a bargain $0.99 / 99p / AU$1.49.
CyberLink PowerDirector is one of the best apps for video editing on desktop - and, thankfully, the same can be said of its mobile app offering for Android and iPhone.
You'll find a friendly app that sits somewhere between LumaFusion and iMovie, if you’re on Apple hardware – or in a similar space to KineMaster if you're editing videos on Android.
Import clips and they dutifully line-up on the timeline. Select one and you can, by way of the edit button, access a range of tools. It’s less elegant than iMovie or even KineMaster, but the app’s responsiveness and lack of clutter make it pleasant to use.
This friendliness extends to early jaunts around the app, where you’re accompanied by comic-like thought bubbles outlining where everything is. If you're a beginner, then, it could well be the best video editing app for you.
For pros on the move, PowerDirector broadly aligns with iMovie – a place to sketch out ideas rather than create a finished product. For keen amateurs, it’s powerful enough without being overwhelming. Again, though, it seems better suited to Android, given that iPhone/iPad users can instead opt for the superior LumaFusion (pro) or iMovie (consumer).
Read our full desktop CyberLink PowerDirector review
There’s a sense of trepidation with KineMaster when you launch this top video editor app and it immediately wants to rope you into a subscription. But what soon becomes clear is this is powerful, usable app for video editing – whether you’re willing to pay for it or not.
Importing clips is a cinch, and the app makes great use of screen space. By default, a large preview is flanked by a toolbar for vital commands (undo, settings and so on) and a camera-like record button with icons around it for quickly getting at media, audio and overlays. It looks cluttered, but feels efficient when working, even on a phone.
For free, you get access to the bulk of the toolset, if not the assets, and exports are watermarked. If nothing else, this at least means you can try before you buy.
If you do pay, it’ll cost you around $23 / £19 / AU$38 annually – reasonable value for the best pro-oriented option on Android, especially if you make use of the assets store. iPhone/iPad users should stick with LumaFusion though.
On the desktop, iMovie has long held a reputation for marrying ease of use with power. It’s no Final Cut Pro, but it gets the job done. You might say the same of its mobile incarnation, one of the best video editing apps for iPhone and iPad users.
Load a selection of clips and iMovie arranges them on a magnetic single-track timeline. Clips can be rearranged with ease, and you can pinch to zoom the timeline if you don’t like staring at thumbnails.
There’s a title editor (standard or lower third) and although it’s based around themes, fonts, colors and backgrounds can all be adjusted. Beyond that, you can apply filters and transitions, adjust clip speeds, add audio overlays, and experiment with green-screen, split-screen and picture-in-picture effects.
Ultimately, iMovie trades depth for speed, which is why it isn't quite our top choice for the 'best video editing app' title. Some features are geared towards newcomers, such as the accessible but limited interface and trailer templates that teach people about film construction and shot types. Still, jobbing pros shouldn’t dismiss the app, because it’s great for throwing clips together and figuring out narrative flow in an interface that’s fast, efficient and low on distractions.
Read our full Apple iMovie review
Clips, from Apple, attempts to combine the simplicity and elegance of iMovie with the immediacy demanded of creating video for social networks.
To that end, it has a workflow that’s quite alien compared to some of the other best video editing apps, and yet it successfully gets you in the moment, focusing on what’s really important.
Ideally, Clips would have you shoot footage inside the app itself, but you can import existing shots – after a fashion. Rather than adding a clip to your timeline, you position it within the viewport, scrub to where you’d like to start, and prod the record button to capture the part you want.
Elsewhere, the app is a grab-bag of fun features, including cartoonish filters, text overlays, Memoji head replacements and live titles. There’s a whiff of gimmick about some of these, but Clips nonetheless has a feature set that effectively balances fun and creativity, enabling you to build tiny social network-friendly movies in double-quick fashion.
Stop Motion Studio Pro isn’t concerned with traditional filmmaking – it’s instead designed to edit stop-motion animation on your phone.
This is a versatile video editor app, in which you can shoot using its built-in camera, transforming desk-bound objects into a living world.
But the app can import existing images and video, the latter of which is converted to still frames. Each frame can be tweaked, and it’s possible to overlay multiple audio samples that can play simultaneously and themselves be edited.
The brute-force nature of certain settings – foregrounds and filters applied to the entire production; a single frame-rate; no transitions bar option start/end fades –means the app doesn’t quite reach its ambition of being properly ‘pro’.
But as a means of focusing on what matters, and to map out animation ideas from existing content while on the go (or on the sofa), it’s ideal.
Sometimes you don’t want to be the next Michael Kahn and delve into the nitty gritty of editing. You want the best video editing app to do all the hard work for you. The original Quik was great for that. Hence when the new version gleefully announces on first launch “we renamed the GoPro app Quik,” you might be filled with much trepidation.
Fortunately, Quik remains intact… mostly. You still choose videos from your device that, with a tap, the app instantly edits into a highlights reel. You can then fiddle around with the theme, trim and highlight points, music and formatting.
There has, however, been some fiddling from GoPro, too. On creating identical projects in the old and new app, the older Quik’s output is more dynamic and fun. Also, the newer app’s keen to have you subscribe, for which you get additional filters, themes and music – along with a more powerful slow-down tool and (eventually) cloud backup.
In all, it feels like a regression combined with an upsell. But despite our misgivings, GoPro Quik retains enough of its predecessor’s best bits to warrant a download, and might just be the best video editing app for GoPro aficionados.
Whether applied for corrective or stylistic reasons, chances are color grading will form part of your video-editing workflow – at least if you’re not merely hurling random cat videos at social networks on a whim. For anything more considered, though, you’ll want to fix color-cast errors and use color for emotional and contextual impact.
Considering VideoGrade, one of the best video editing apps on iOS, costs as much as a cheap lunch, the tool provides you with an awful lot of creative control, wrapped up in an interface anyone can understand.
Load a video and a plethora of sliders enables you to subtly adjust temperature, sharpness, saturation and color channels; if you want to get more creative, you can experiment with bloom, posterization, pixelation and rotation.
The app sensibly provides a real-time preview, including split-screen comparisons, and the means to save presets. When you’re done, you can export your footage using a number of presets. Whether salvaging a shot or bringing new life to a mundane clip, VideoGrade offers an excellent balance of power and immediacy.
How to choose the best video editing app for you
When determining which video editor app is best for you, remember: Not all apps for video editing are equal. Start by considering how you'll use the app, which device (or devices) you'll use, your existing editing workflow, and current skill-level. You can then pin down which apps best fit the content you wish to produce.
While many of the best video editing apps are multi-platform - letting you edit videos on Android, iPhone, and iPad (and even desktops) - many are locked to Apple devices. Where possible, we've listed alternatives to these in this guide.
How we test the best video editing apps
When we test video editor apps to identify the best, we look at a number of factors that are important to users. This includes a good interface and experience. Users should be able to easily understand how to use a video editor app and, with the appropriate guidance, master it - especially when using a phone to cut clips.
We explore the performance of all the best video editing apps, from the editing process to the final export. Even when editing on a phone, users rightly expect their videos to look how they envisioned, without stuttering, juddering, or unsightly screen tears.
We also look at pricing. If an app is touted as free, we want to ensure it really is free, with payment options clearly set out. Where prices are similar to other apps, we check how much value it offers in comparison to the competition.
Finally, we see how well the video editing app meets the needs and expectations of users. For example, those downloading VideoGrade will need very different tools to users of Adobe Premiere Rush.
For more information on our independent reviewing process, see how we test, review, and rate on TechRadar.