What to look for in Video Editing Software
Video editing is a complicated task, even on a smartphone. Make sure the software you choose has the tools and features to make your videos look their best.
- Basic Tools: All video editing programs allow you to perform basic tasks such as cropping and cropping footage, adding effects and filters, and adjusting picture and sound values.
- Advanced Tools: Some apps include tools typically found in desktop video editing software, such as a chroma key (green screen), video stabilization, color correction, and audio mixing.
- Multi-path editing: Most mobile video editors have only one video track to edit. Two or more video tracks allow you to create more complex videos.
- Landscape mode: Editing video vertically is imprecise and frustrating. Some apps allow you to resize the interface horizontally for a more traditional editing experience.
- Stock Media: You won’t always have all the elements you need to make a great video. The best apps have a library of free videos, images, and audio that you can use to enhance your projects.
- Themes and Templates: Reducing editing time is invaluable when you produce videos on a regular basis. A robust selection of themes and templates lets you quickly create beautiful videos.
- Sharing Options: Getting your video in front of an audience is the whole point of the editing process. The best apps allow you to upload your creations to social media sites like YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and TikTok.
- Multi-device support: Transferring from iPhone to iPad or PC isn’t something most video editing apps do. However, those that offer superior comfort and versatility.
- Training Resources: No matter how intuitive companies make their video editing software, there will always be a bit of a learning curve. The best software video editor has tutorials for each tool.
- Free Download: Most of the programs listed below allow you to download and use them for free and offer premium subscriptions for their advanced tools.
Best overall: LumaFusion
- ✓ Multi-track editing features
- ✓ A comprehensive toolkit
- ✓ In-depth tutorials
- ✗ Steep learning curve
- ✗ No landscape mode
Of all the iOS video editing apps, LumaFusion is the closest to a desktop editing experience. It offers the most video and audio editing tracks (12 in total) of any editing app in the app store, allowing you to create incredibly complex projects not possible with other apps on this list. LumaFusion includes all the basic editing tools you need, such as clipping, cropping, and adding effects, as well as chroma key, video stabilizer, color correction, keyframe, slow motion, time lapse, and more. offers the most advanced tools available. If you’re looking for professional-grade editing tools, LumaFusion is the app for you.
New editors can be a bit confused by LumaFusion’s large number of features. However, the app has detailed instructions that show what each tool does and how to use it. So you can learn without ever leaving the app.
Unfortunately, the iPhone version of LumaFusion only allows you to edit in portrait (vertical) mode, which makes editing complex projects difficult. Your timeline will be shorter and tools may be more difficult to find. Plus, hitting the wrong button is easier than it should be. If a large area is critical for fine-tuning your footage, perhaps you should invest in an iPad for video editing.
Also great: PowerDirector
- ✓ It is easy to use
- ✓ Includes basic and advanced tools
- ✓ Edit in landscape mode
- ✗ Poor audio mixer
- ✗ Not uploading to TikTok
PowerDirector is a fantastic free video editing software for iPhone. It rivals LumaFusion for the number of advanced editing tools. Speed adjustments, camera shake correction, green screen tools and more. such as allows you to create to your heart’s desire. But there is one big exception. It doesn’t have a true multi-track video editing feature. Although the program allows you to insert picture-in-picture pieces, it’s not exactly the same.
PowerDirector lets you edit video while holding your phone horizontally, which is great for people who have learned how to edit on a desktop and are used to that layout and workflow. Additionally, the app has tons of stock images available for free, and premium plans give you access to stock elements from services like Shutterstock. Once you’re done making your video, you can upload it directly to YouTube, Facebook, or Instagram. Unfortunately, TikTok is not included, which is strange because it is the fastest growing video sharing site in the world.
While new users can pick up PowerDirector with few problems, there will be some that require learning. The tutorial module contains a library of videos covering the basic tools of the program.
Best for social media: CapCut
- ✓ Simple to learn
- ✓ Great template library
- ✓ In-app downloads
- ✗ Several advanced tools
- ✗ No Twitter support
Bytedance designed CapCut specifically for social media sites like Instagram and TikTok. It offers thousands of free video templates that allow you to create posts and stories in seconds. It also has a more traditional (vertical only) editing workspace that lets you do basic editing like cropping, adding effects and filters, changing the format (aspect ratio), and a few other important tasks. CapCut is the perfect choice for a fast-moving, fast-posting social media assistant looking to build their following.
However, if you are looking for the advanced tools found in LumaFusion and PowerDirector, this is not the program for you. Because the app focuses on running as fast as possible, you can enjoy multi-track editing, video stabilization, green screens, and more. you don’t get things like This is not just such a program.
CapCut allows you to post your videos to TikTok, WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram directly from within the app. But that leaves Twitter out, which is an odd omission considering how focused it is on getting your videos to the largest possible audience.
Best for Creative Cloud Users: Premiere Rush
- ✓ Supports multi-path editing
- ✓ In-app video recording
- ✓ Projects compatible with Premiere Pro
- ✗ No themes or templates
- ✗ Inconsistent performance
If you use Creative Cloud apps like Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign, Adobe Premiere Rush is probably the best iPhone video editing app for you. But you don’t need to be an Adobe wizard to appreciate its simplicity, versatility and power. Premiere Rush is one of the few iPhone video editors that offers a multi-track video editor. You can add up to four video tracks and three audio tracks. The software makes it easy to add effects, trim and crop footage, rearrange elements in a graphic, enhance audio and video, and much more. While it doesn’t have many advanced editing features, you can bring up any Premiere Rush project in Premiere Pro to fine-tune your mobile creations.
Unfortunately, you will have to build all your projects from scratch with Premiere Rush. The app has no themes or templates to work with. And while this may not be a deal breaker for many, new users may need to spend a few more hours getting to grips with the app’s ins and outs. In addition, the app has occasional performance issues such as hangs and crashes. It doesn’t happen very often. But when it does, it’s very frustrating.
Premiere Rush has more social media sharing options than CapCut. You can share Premiere Rush videos directly to YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Behance (Adobe’s creative social media platform).
Best Free Video Editing Software: iMovie
- ✓ Free forever
- ✓ Pre-installed on iPhone and iPad
- ✓ Easy to use themes and templates
- ✗ Single track video editing
- ✗ Not uploaded to social media
Before buying anything, you should check if what you have on your phone is suitable for your needs. iMovie comes preloaded on every iPhone and iPad. It has all the video editing tools you need to make simple projects. It’s easy to learn and provides templates for dozens of projects like a video magazine, cooking videos, how-to videos, makeup tutorials, product reviews, book reports, science experiments, and even movie trailers. You can even have the app automatically record short videos with just a few taps.
The editing module is very intuitive, and while it may not be as fast and easy as CapCut, you should be able to understand the workflow within minutes of launching the program. You only get one video editing track, but since Apple designed iMovie for everyone to use, it makes sense to keep it as simple to use as possible.
The nature of iMovie (and its price) prevents it from offering advanced video editing tools like chroma key, video stabilizers, and color correction. However, the iMovie desktop app on Mac has a few more advanced tools. You can transfer iMovie projects from iPhone or iPad to Mac via AirDrop. So if you run into the limitations of the mobile app, you can always fine-tune when you get home to your desktop.
When you’re done editing your videos with iMovie, the program exports them to your Photos app. There is no option to upload to social media sites, so you will have to share them manually.