Smartphone technology is moving forward in leaps and bounds, cameras are getting better, processing power is getting faster, and our phone has become all-encompassing. If you’re shooting something small on your phone camera, it doesn’t always make sense to then transfer that to your computer just to edit. It’s often the seasoned editors who are unfamiliar with the mobile video editing apps’ capabilities because they already have their post workflow. It may be worth getting to know these apps to reap the efficiency benefits.
Not just for hobbyists—here are our top free mobile video editing apps.
VN Video Editor
- Best Feature: Sound Effects Library
- Downside: None
- OS: iOS & Android
A newer app that's great overall. You can quickly get started and have multiple projects simultaneously. Change your aspect ratio on the fly at any time while you’re working. It has all the standard split, trim, and move features as well as speed effects. Color adjustments come as built-in filters, but you also have individual color adjustments (brightness, contrast, saturation, etc.). Effects are bouncy, TikTok-age appropriate, and transitions are minimal. It’s easy to add text on video or black/white cards with some pretty templates, fonts, and colors.
They have a really fun and expansive sound effects library. One of the more surprising features is the ability to mark beats on a music track you’re importing. Export is up to 4K with adjustable fps and bitrate. We hope it's able to stay free and operational and add more features in the future.
- Best Feature: Software suggestions
- Downside: Not Flexible
- OS: iOS & Android
The app name is not a misnomer. Quik is designed to have you in and out in five minutes. Designed by GoPro, it’s optimized for displaying your action shots in a stylized way. Choose your footage and template, and you’re pretty much done. The templates come with an opening title and accompanying music that you can change. It’s not a standard video editing workspace, rather more like character building in a game.
A cool feature is the ability to “highlight” different points in a shot and have a speed ramp effect applied to those points. Quik also offers you recommended durations based on your music track or social media. You are still able to trim and split clips with the suggested duration for the clip here, as well. Color filters are limited and apply to the whole video, and you can choose between three aspect ratio options—portrait, cinema, and square. Export options are non-existent. Remember to remove the Quik outro in the settings tab before saving.
- Best Feature: Cool animated effects and stickers
- Downside: Ads and paid add ons
- OS: iOS & Android
InShot is certainly the flashiest app on the list. It's full of features to catch the eye like animated stickers and filter effects. Many of the cooler transitions are included in the paid version, and you will have to watch ads to do certain things like export and remove the watermark. There are music and effects libraries with free assets, and you can adjust their duration and fade in and out. Text is a little limited but includes animations that really elevate the style. Different aspect ratio options don’t force you to necessarily resize your video—you can just add a colorful background and keep it as is. Export allows customizable resolution, but that’s about it.
- Best Feature: From Apple
- Downside: Single aspect ratio
- OS: iOS Only
iMovie comes standard in your Apple product, from Mac to iPhone. It’s quick, easy to use, and has just the bare minimum to create a quick video. Clip and project-based stylized filters, basic transitions, and clean, modern graphics. Less suited for social media because you’re stuck with the 16x9 horizontal aspect ratio and you don’t have fun stickers, though there are (surprisingly) sound effects. No export options. With iMovie, what you see is what you get, and that can be very satisfying.
- Best Feature: Reframing and Cross-Platform Functionality
- Downside: Free version only gives you three exports
- OS: iOS & Android (Most Devices—See List)
Premiere Rush is Adobe's answer to mobile editing. Although the free version is limited, the good news is if you are already subscribed to Premiere Pro, you have access to Adobe Rush. Adobe Rush is also cross-platform, meaning you can start your project on your phone or tablet and continue in Premiere Pro on your computer. The only app on this list that has multiple video tracks, it’s much more like a mini version of your NLE than a game. Like other mobile video editing apps, it has easily applied transitions, overlays, and color filters. The flexibility in adjusting the position and size of my footage is great, and the smart reframe feature is perfect for when you need to change the aspect ratio. It has limited resolution and frame rate options for export, but mostly it will tell you what’s best.
All of the mobile video editing apps on our list are incredibly intuitive, so your experience will definitely be quick and easy. They are built for a social media world and help you generate content even if you’re less comfortable in that realm.
Did we miss any of your favorite apps? Sound off in the comments below.