The rise of affordable smartphones, GoPros (and cheaper alternatives), and other small, high-quality cameras has made it easier than ever to record video when we’re on the move.
Turning all that footage into good (or at least watchable) clips, however? That still takes a bit of work, but it’s a lot less effort than it used to be. As capturing video has become more popular, there’s been a similar rise in the number of quality apps to edit and publish it with.
Whether you’re a professional vlogger, only shoot casual footage of your kids, or are anywhere in between, there’s a free or inexpensive tool out there that lets you create quality videos on your phone quickly and easily.
These are nine of the best video editing apps for iOS and Android right now.
Best for Getting Started: Quik
If you’re just starting out and want to start editing videos right away, Quik (iOS/Android) is a great option. This app, created by GoPro, is designed for beginners or those in a hurry.
You can start editing as soon as you’ve installed the app, with no registration required. Quik provides nearly two dozen themes to quickly enhance your videos with a few taps, most of which are pretty good.
The “Radical” theme adds geometric styling to the transitions in your video, for example, while the “Light” theme plays with different lighting effects.
The editing tool helps you reorder, trim, and rotate video clips, as well as personalize the content with text overlays. You can select music for your masterpiece, and choose when it starts. When you’re ready to publish, videos can be saved as either 720p or HD (1080p).
Even though it’s a GoPro product, Quik can be used to edit any footage you’ve created regardless of its source. As a result, it’s a great option for quickly putting together a usable video without needing previous editing experience.
iOS and Android, free
Best for Automation: Magisto
Magisto‘s biggest claim to fame is bringing artificial intelligence to the video-editing process. So, what does this really mean?
In simple terms, the software analyzes your video content and comes up with various enhancements based on this analysis. These improvements are automatically generated by the A.I, so you can sit back and let the app do the work.
Enhancements include things like video stabilization, a wide range of filters and effects, automatic cropping, and facial recognition that’s tracked by the app over time. There’s also a library of stock content to use in your videos, and you can select from a collection of editing styles to create your final movie.
There’s no free version of Magisto, although the company does offer a week-long trial period before you start paying for the service. You’ll still need to create an account and give your credit card information in order to access the trial, however.
iOS and Android, free trial for 7 days, then $4.99-$34.99/month
Best from a Major Company: Adobe Premiere Rush
Adobe Premiere is the king of video production for many professionals, but what if you’re just starting out and don’t want to pay the hefty subscription fee? Good news: there’s a lower-cost version you can use called Adobe Premiere Rush.
The app lets you harness some of the power of the Adobe Creative suite, without all of the cost. You’ll need to login with an Adobe ID after installing the app (which means creating one if necessary), but after that, you’re good to go.
You can use any video you’ve shot on your phone, or import from your camera. If you use the app to shoot your footage, however, you’ve got access to a “Pro” shooting mode that gives greater control over things like white balance, frame rate, and ISO.
All of the usual features, including splitting, splicing, and cutting footage are available, and you can easily add transitions, titles, voiceovers and more. Color presets are available for quick adjustments, as well as manual color controls for when you want to tweak things in more depth.
You can add your own or stock music to your creation, with useful features like automatic sound leveling and reduction of the music volume during dialog. Projects are automatically synced to your Adobe Creative Cloud account, with 100GB of cloud storage included.
There’s a free trial available that includes all of the features for as long as you like, but is limited to exporting three videos. It’s a good way of getting a feel for whether Premiere Rush is the right tool for you.
iOS, Android, and desktop; free trial, then $4.99/month phone-only, $9.99/month for full subscription
To create videos optimized for social media, check out InShot. The app is particularly good for creating videos for Instagram, with the canvas tool helping you easily crop to a square format. Other aspect ratios are also available for other platforms.
The trimming tool lets you cut, trim, and split videos, or merge multiple clips into one video. Adding filters, music, memes, and stickers is straightforward, as is zooming in and out of existing footage and speeding up or slowing down the playback.
The ad-supported free version is fully featured but adds a watermark to the final video. You can pay separately to remove it, or buy monthly or annual subscriptions to the Pro version that also gives access to extra effects and filters.
iOS and Android, free with watermark, in-app purchases available
Best for Advanced Features: KineMaster
While Kinemaster does have a free, stripped-down version, it’s nothing to get excited about. It really comes into its own, however, when you upgrade to Premium. This gives you access to a full-featured mobile video editor, with advanced features that let you add unlimited text, images, and up to ten video layers at once.
Audio capabilities are equally sophisticated, with the ability to play eight or more tracks simultaneously. There are also tools for blending, speed control, and even green screen support.
One particularly cool feature is an “instant preview.” This lets you view your videos as you edit them, rather than switching endlessly back and forward.
While KineMaster’s features aren’t entirely necessary for casual video editing, they’re ideal for more advanced users looking to take their mobile video to the next level.
iOS and Android, free or premium ($4.99/month or $39.99/year)
Best for Stock Content: WeVideo
WeVideo‘s video editing app comes in five different variants, so you can choose the plan best suited for your needs. The limited free version lets you do basic tasks like trimming and voiceovers, and gives access to a small library of stock audio.
As you upgrade through the various paid versions, you’ll incrementally gain access to extra features. One of the most interesting and useful is the “essentials” library, which comes with the professional ($17.99/month) and business ($29.99/month) plans.
Integrated right into the editing process, this library gives access to over a million licensed and license-free images, video clips, and music tracks. Any and all of this stock content can be incorporated directly into videos with no usage limits.
You can always search for license-free content online to incorporate into your videos by yourself, of course, but having it all there within the app is a huge timesaver for those looking to quickly make high-quality videos on the go.
iOS and Android, free to $29.99/month depending on plan
Best for Android (Free): FilmoraGo
The free FilmoraGo app for Android is a solid free video-editing option for a range of users. Intuitive and easy to use, features include playing video in reverse, slowing it down or speeding it up, and adding transitions, text, and titles.
When it comes to sound, you can add voiceover dialog, import music, and quickly adjust volume levels between the two. There are plenty of attractive filters and other visual elements, and like InShot (above), you can export in different aspect ratios depending on which platform you’re uploading to.
Note, however, that while the free version of FilmoraGo doesn’t technically add a watermark, it does add short promotional footage at the end of the video. You can pay a few dollars to remove that promo footage, or to use extra filters and transitions.
iOS and Android, free or up to $1.99
Best for 4K Video: PowerDirector
Available for Android, PowerDirector is a robust and powerful editing suite. The app’s drag and drop timeline interface allows straightforward editing of even lengthy footage, with useful extras like video stabilization and slow-motion.
The editor makes it easy to include visual and audio effects, along with a range of transitions. Basic tools like trimming, cutting, and color editing are all included, and there are also more advanced features like chroma key support for blue and green screens and video collage creation.
You can also quickly export videos to YouTube and Facebook in anything up to 4K resolution, although the free version is limited to 720p. Monthly, quarterly, or annual premium subscriptions are available. These also remove watermarks and ads, unlock extra transitions and filters, and more.
Android, free or up to $34.99/year
Best for iOS: Lumafusion
Finally, there’s one more iOS-only app that deserves inclusion in this list: LumaFusion. This app provides a powerful video editing platform that’s worth the money for professional videographers (or anyone else who just wants super-nice videos!)
LumaFusion gives you several video and audio layers, tons of effects to play with, slow and fast motion (forward and reverse), color correction, and advanced features like chroma key filters and unlimited keyframes.
As for audio, there’s a live audio track mixer, along with high-end features like automatic audio ducking for interviews, stereo mixing for dual microphone recordings, and more.
You can automatically export to a wide range of platforms in the right aspect ratio, at a variety of frame rates and resolutions including 4K. There are plenty more features to discover inside the app, and a comprehensive set of tutorials to explain them all!
If you’re after one of the most professional, polished iOS video editing apps, and don’t mind paying for it, it’s hard to go past Lumafusion.
Images via Skitterphoto (recording video on phone), rawpixel on Pxhere (people looking at phones), hamonazaryan1 (man with camera during hike), and Pxhere (hands with phone)