Your smartphone is the camera that you carry with you in your pocket. But with that camera comes a high-definition video camcorder as well. Most late-generation phones can shoot video up to 4K resolution and such footage benefits greatly from a mobile video editor with pro-level features that is also easy enough for novices to learn and use. A good video editor ensures that the footage you capture — at events for sharing with friends and family or on social media — is compelling. High-quality apps direct you in how to order and trim clips, apply transitions and special effects, add music and voice-overs to your footage, and assist in continuity and style with themes and templates.
Sure, you always have the option of using the default app built into your iPhone or Android phone, but if you’re intent on creating something unique, you may want to try some third-party apps to craft your cinematic narrative. We had a look at the video app landscape and chose the best video editing apps for iOS and Android that are sure to help you achieve your creative vision. While you’re at it, check out our best apps for iOS and Android.
Adobe Premiere Rush
Adobe Premiere Rush has now replaced the former Adobe Premiere Clip. This new app lets you shoot, edit, and share your smartphone videos to any platform. It assists you in creating professional-looking videos to share via social media directly from the app and lets you work across any devices you own, including iPhones, iPads, Android devices, and desktops. Editing features include drag and drop arrangement of video, audio, graphics, and photos, and enhancement of color, titles, transitions, voiceovers, and more. Four video and three audio tracks give you creative flexibility. You can customize titles, beginning with built-in and animated templates and change the color, size, and font, and access more for free on Adobe Stock. You can also add music, record voiceovers, and use advanced tools powered by Adobe’s Sensei artificial intelligence engine for balancing sound, noise reduction, and auto-ducking. Sharing features let you easily resize video aspect ratios for various social media channels like Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. All your video is automatically synced to the cloud so you can retrieve it from any platform. Rush is free to use indefinitely but limited to three exports unless you upgrade for $10 per month for unlimited exports and 100GB of cloud storage — or you are an Adobe Creative Cloud or Adobe Premiere Pro subscriber, in which case Rush is free.
iMovie for iOS is the companion app to Apple’s desktop program of the same name. The mobile app offers an entree into elegant, Hollywood-style movies and trailers on your iPhone or iPad. The app’s intuitive touch interface breaks down movie editing barriers for beginners while Apple packs in ready-made themes for movie creation with coordinated titles, transitions, and music. You can augment your videos with filters, slo-mo, fast-forward, built-in musical soundtracks and sound effects, or just narrate your own voice-over. Among its featured special effects are green screen, split-screen, and picture-in-picture. Choose from 14 trailer templates, customizable movie logos and credits, and record trailer video right from the app. When you’re finished creating your video, you can easily move projects between your iPhone, iPad, or Mac for further refinement, or connect a monitor to the mobile app for editing on the large screen. Then, save the finished movie to your photo library or share it on YouTube in 4K or 1080p at up to 60 frames per second (fps). The newest versions let you access video from external hard drives, SD cards, and USB drives. There’s also support for Dark Mode and a new Share sheet in iOS 13. And now, when you add theme music in project settings, the soundtrack automatically matches your movie length.
Here’s another mobile companion app to a famed desktop program: CyberLink PowerDirector is a hugely popular consumer video app for Windows with an app on Android and compatibility with Chromebook. PowerDirector features a multi-track timeline in a traditional interface for full HD and 4K video editing, special effects, slo-mo, voice-overs, and more. A built-in video stabilizer allows you to bid farewell to shaky handheld webcam syndrome. The app provides powerful multiple track timeline video editing, action movie effects, and background editing. With PowerDirector, you get special effects editing, audio editing with fade effects and voice-overs, video collage effects, picture-in-picture, and blue screen or green screen for editing background environments. When you’re done you can easily share your videos to YouTube and Facebook. Native export is 720p, but with an in-app purchase, you can export to 1080p and 4K. Premium features such as full HD, watermark and ad removal, and content packs are available free for seven days, but after that, you’ll need to purchase a subscription. The newest updates let you add glitch effect and transitions for a futuristic style — great for action shots and dystopian stories. You can now use blending modes to create double exposure effects. Four new Mask tools — Linear, Parallel, Rectangle, and Eclipse masks are now available.
If you’re into making movies and you want to have some fun doing it, look no further than the easy-to-use Vizmato. The slideshow and video editing app lets you add filters, themes, music, effects, and text to movies for sharing on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Whatsapp, and other social media. Vizmato provides more than 20 video themes and twice as many special effects plus 140 samples of background music to add to your videos. A voice changer effect lets you disguise your voice to sound like a baby, chipmunk, ghost, and other characters. You can slow down, speed up, or reverse effects on your video or add custom text and stickers to your movie. A slideshow maker lets you convert photos into videos complete with a theme and royalty-free music. This app also lets you shoot HD video via its live recorder. Vizmato is free, but a subscription to the Pro version for $12 per year removes the watermark, adds a Visual FX pack, and provides access to more royalty-free music.
Quik is a video editor from GoPro that’s designed to work with the clips derived from that company’s various action cams. But even if you don’t own a GoPro camera, you can still use this excellent app to edit videos from any source. Quik finds the compelling parts of your clips, adds transitions and effects, and can sync everything with a musical score. You can collect up to 200 photos and video clips from your gallery, albums, Google Photos, Dropbox, GoPro Plus, or GoPro Quik Key and customize your narrative with text and music. Just choose the photos and videos, and then choose a theme like Action, Boxed, or Flick that pulls together your video’s text, transitions, and special effects. The app can detect smiles and faces from your GoPro footage while letting you adjust the layout or interest point. You can add text, use Quick’s smart cuts to splice clips together, speed up or slo-mo, add GPS stickers, and choose a soundtrack to accompany your adventures. Quik automatically syncs transitions to a musical beat. The app’s Flashbacks 24H feature automatically reviews a day’s footage and creates an original composite video from it.
You have committed the first deadly video sin: You shot a video in portrait orientation. You didn’t mean to and Horizon Camera will never tell. Rather, Horizon ensures that every video and photo you capture will have a landscape orientation, regardless of how you shot your scene. Even if you rotate your phone while capturing your video, the end result will still be horizontal. The software works by automatically leveling your photos and videos using your phone’s gyroscope while you record, correcting the orientation so that the scene is always parallel to the ground. The app features various resolutions including VGA, HD, Full HD, and 4K, and supports 60 fps and 120 fps (slow motion), fun filters, geotagging, three leveling modes, and HDR photos. A lossless zoom feature joins AirPlay mirroring while recording. The app also supports various video aspect ratios like square 1:1, wide 16:9, standard 4:3, and lets you record videos and photos with your front or back camera. You can open your videos in other apps, and choose a video quality like high, medium, or low to save space. A pro version costs $2 for extra filter packs and to remove the watermark.
FilmoraGo lets you mix it up with both photos and videos and provides templates and themes that allow complete novices to start out with raw clips and end up with a polished movie. Not only can you preview your creation in real time, but you can also import clips from anywhere, including social networks like Facebook and Instagram. Audio is at least as important as video and FilmoraGo gives you plenty of soundtrack choices from its library of licensed songs — or you can use your own music. The app has all the usual features, including reverse play, trim, slow and fast motion, duplicate, and rotate. That’s in addition to providing classic transitions like dissolve and wipe, plus overlays and filters. A special text and titles library lets you create text-based animations and you can bump your video up a notch by adding impressive still and motion graphics. You can export videos in square 1:1 format for Instagram, classic 16:9 for YouTube, or share to Facebook, WhatsApp, Vimeo, Tumblr, and email. The app is free, but removing the Logo Roll will cost you $2. Filmora continues to enhance the user interface, and new versions offer UI improvements, a reverse video feature, basic transition effects, blurred background, text animations, and more.
Mobile shooters seeking a full-featured video editor have come to the right place with KineMaster. It offers easy-to-use but powerful tools like multiple video layers, blending modes, voice-overs, chroma-key, speed controls, transitions, subtitles, stickers, and special effects. It is especially useful to video bloggers and those sharing to YouTube and Instagram. That’s in addition to the app’s usual trim, splice, and crop tools. The app gives you advanced time-lapse and slo-mo effects as well as auto volume, ducking, and immersive volume envelope tools. Keyframe animation makes its way to mobile with Kinemaster for adding motion to layers and the app also supports multiple aspect ratios. If you run out of creative ideas, no worries. The app’s Asset Store gets updated each week with music, clip graphics, fonts, stickers, and transitions to give your video a unique look. You can export up to 4K, 2160p video at 30 fps. New versions include a new reverse tool, new speech modulations for the voice changer, expanded text settings, and a chroma-key for image layers. KineMaster is free to use but adds a watermark to videos and certain premium assets while some tools are not available. You’ll need to purchase a subscription to KineMaster Premium costing $5 per month or $40 per year to remove the watermark and unlock all of the features.
Adobe Premiere Clip Update
Adobe is sunsetting its Premiere Clip app. Beginning in September 2019, Adobe pulled Clip from the Apple and Google Play app stores. It is replacing Clip with Adobe Premiere Rush, a cross-device video editor. With Premiere Rush, you can edit videos and share them directly to social media across iOS, macOS, Windows, and Android devices. Existing Clip customers can continue to use the app, and Adobe promises to provide technical support until March 17, 2020.