You probably know how to trim your videos, but did you know how easy it is to create a mini-movie by combining videos, photos, and music on your device? Today we’ll take a look at the apps that make this otherwise complicated task a doddle. Even better, they’re (mostly) all free!
In the last few years, it’s gotten much easier to shoot high quality videos on your iPhone or iPad, but editing videos still remains a specialised skill. After analysing over 20 video editing apps, we’ve narrowed down our top six.
Some apps give you granular control over the entire editing process, whereas others take all your media files and magically transform them into brilliant montages worth sharing.
1. iMovie (Free, $4.99)
No “iOS video editing apps” list can be complete without Apple’s default video editing app. Like most of the apps in this article, it can be daunting when you first use it, but it’s fairly easy once you find your way around.
iMovie gives you the option to create a new Movie or a Hollywood-style Trailer (we’ve shown you how to do this). For the former option, import the media files from your device or iCloud Drive, then add them to your editing timeline.
As the video’s playing, tap the timeline to see a panel of editing tools at the bottom. The cog-shaped icon at the top right reveals further options to let you add filters, change the video theme, and it even has sliders to add fade in and out efffects. It’s free for all users who purchase a new Apple device, find it under Updates > Purchases in the App Store.
Verdict: iMovie benefits from being an app that most iOS users are familiar with. That said, it has been neglected for a while and could do with a refresh.
2. Splice (Free)
Unlike iMovie which only let you import media files from your device and iCloud, GoPro‘s Splice lets you import files stored within other accounts, including Facebook, Dropbox, Google and GoPro Plus.
The app then lets you choose a soundtrack or add a track from your iTunes library. It has a vast selection of tunes neatly arranged in 13 genres (including Pop, Rock, and Reggae). On the following screen, you can change your background color, transition, photo duration, and so on.
Tap any video on the editing timeline to see three options. Of these, Edit Video reveals a wide range of nuanced editing tools. You can trim your file, add filters, change playback speed, add text, and change your volume.
The Audio editing tab has options to trim your music, download effects, or add a narration. You can then save the video to your device as an HD file, or share it to YouTube, Facebook, or Instagram.
Verdict: Splice is the easiest video editing app we’ve used. Its only drawback is that it adds a promotional screen to your edited video, but you can easily trim this using iOS’s default Photos app.
3. Quik (Free)
This is another stellar app developed by GoPro. As its name suggests, it “quickly” converts your imported media files into a brilliant montage, thereby differentiating itself from Splice.
I don’t have a GoPro but I sometimes use my iPhone as a GoPro camera.
After importing your media files, you can choose from a wide range of themes (each have their default soundtracks). Using the musical note icon at the bottom left, you can change the music or add a track from your device.
The play icon lets you shuffle your videos and see them as a sequence. Finally, use the spanner-shaped to save your video in its original format or as a square. Click Save to download the edited file or share it using social networks.
Verdict: Quik is ideal when you want to create a video montage in minutes without any fuss.
4. Video Editor Videorama (Free)
When you first open this app, you need to select your orientation: landscape, portrait, or square (ideal for Instagram’s one-minute videos).
The standout feature of Videorama is that it lets you download free-to-use photo and video files courtesy of Pixabay. Similarly, you can even download video effects, sound effects, and copyright-free music.
On the editing timeline, you’ll see the usual arrray of editing tools (adding text, photos, music, and filters) at the bottom. Tapping the video slider at the top reveals four more tools. These include options to edit the clip, remove it, duplicate it, and add different transition effects.
Videorama has two drawbacks. The first is a small but prominent watermark at the bottom right of your video, which you have to pay $5.99 to remove. The second is that you’re restricted to downloading a 720p version of your file. To unlock the high-resolution (1080p) version of it, you have to rate the app.
Verdict: Downloading relevant photos, videos, and sound effects can really enhance your final edit. If you like using it, it’s worth rating the app and paying to remove the watermark.
5. Adobe Premiere Clip (Free)
You need an Adobe ID to use this app, but it’s quick (and free) to create one. Premiere Clip lets you select media files stored on your device, within your Dropbox account, or within Adobe’s own Lightroom and/or Creative Cloud accounts.
You can choose to let its Automatic tool combine your media files into a ready-made montage. We selected the manual option because it’s more fun.
True to Adobe’s form, the app includes tools that let you change your video’s exposure, highlights, and shadows . You can also modify playback speed and duplicate clips on your timeline. This is useful if you want to use different sections from each clip.
Music-wise, it doesn’t have a wide variety to choose from, but you can add tracks from your device. Make sure to tap the Settings icon, which hides some other useful tools including Instagram-style filters, and video effects. See our list of other useful free Adobe apps.
Verdict: Adobe have created a well-rounded video editing app by using the same concepts that made it a photo editing leader.
6. Magisto Video Editor and Movie Maker (Free)
Think of Magisto as the video equivalent of Instagram. Like Quik, you feed in your data and preferences, and the app does all the heavy lifting (editing) for you.
After importing your media files, select an appropriate genre (Sports, Dance, Storyteller, Memories, etc). This will display relevant soundtracks you can add. Finally, add a movie title and specify your total video time limit.
If it’s longer than a minute, you’ll need to purchase the Premium version ($4.99/month). The app creates a video montage from your files and displays this on your account.
Verdict: The app has an Instagram-like feel to it where you can follow other users to watch their films, while displaying yours. Use hashtags to tag relevant content categories and build your follower-base.
What Are Your Favorite Video Editing Apps?
There were many apps that didn’t make our shortlist for various reasons. For example, we loved Pinnacle Studio Pro‘s impressive set of features, but it’s pretty steep at $12.99 (plus in-app purchases) if you’re not going to use it often. We also loved Clips, but it was discontinued after Google acquired its parent company, Fly Labs.
Mind you, if you just want to quickly touch up your videos, you can use the media file swiss-knife, Google Photos, which has some useful editing tools. If you’re looking for better ways to play your edited videos on your iPhone or iPad, then it’s worth checking out some of these apps.
Which of these apps have made video editing easier for you? Are there any others you’d recommend? Let us know by posting your feedback in the Comments section below.
Image Credit: patita haengtham via Shutterstock.com