Create Pro-Quality Videos on the Go: How to Edit Videos on Your Phone

Edit videos on mobile


Filmmaking is an ever-changing art. However, the basics of editing remain the same.
If you use Android or iPhone, you have a built-in editing app to polish your videos.
More advanced creators could look at third-party apps to take their edits to the next level.
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The shift to mobile editing

Filmmaking is a continuously evolving craft. We are more and more exposed to videos every day, making film grammar change and making it possible to tell stories in new ways. Sometimes, creators break the rules and establish a new way to shoot (Tarantino in the 90s, for example). Sometimes, technology plays its role, and new tools make new narratives and ways to tell stories possible.

We have lived maybe the most significant change in the industry in recent years. 20 years ago, the main audiovisual event of the year was The Lord of the Rings saga. Today we’re in the world of TikTok, where users watch hundreds of videos every day and don’t remember what they watched yesterday.

Filmmakers’ profiles have also changed with the release of smaller cameras, portable gear and the spread of knowledge through the internet. Also, we have new channels to publish our stuff. Before, you could only release a film in a movie theatre or a TV channel, paying a lot of money, and now you can choose the platform where you publish your creations. And if your video is engaging, millions of people will watch it.

The last obvious thing related to gear and technology is the advent of a generation of smartphones that allow filming and editing. In 2022, with a bit of skill, you can produce videos with a tool you have with you all the time. So whether you have the last iPhone, the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, or a more affordable smartphone, you can shoot and edit your videos with it.

Get unlimited high-quality music for your videos

The most conservative minds in the industry think this is bad news because of a decrease in the overall quality of the videos produced. However, we see it in another way. This change gives all the people the opportunity to create and learn the craft without spending a fortune. Today, if you are a professional filmmaker or a teenager filming a joke at your home, you need to know about all the areas of the craft. Professionals in the past were more specialized in their department. You would need a whole crew to produce a video. Now, you can make your movie with your smartphone.

Of course, there are external apps for every step of film production. Script, organization, storyboard… you name it. However, you have built-in tools for shooting and editing on your phone. Let’s look at how to edit videos on Android and Apple’s systems.

Whether you use iPhone or Android, you have built-in apps to make basic edits, put together your videos and publish them straight away.

How to edit videos on Android 

If you have an Android Smartphone, you can use the gallery app to do basic edits. So if you open a video, you will see a toolbar with the following options:

  • You can edit the in and out points.

mobile editing on android

  • Crop
  • Add filters
  • Adjust the image by changing the brightness, saturation, highlights, sharpness, etc.
  • You can also draw on the video and add text and stickers to give them the final touch.

This is how it looks:

How to edit videos on iPhone

The iPhone also has a built-in editor in the Photos app, and it works similarly to Android. So if you select a video, you will see a toolbar where you have all the options to leave your video ready to go.

In the upper left corner, you have an icon to switch the sound of your video on and off. Below the video, you have the rest of the options.

First, you have a camera icon that allows you to trim the video just by adjusting the in and out points.

mobile editing on iphone

Next to the camera icon, the knob icon opens a new toolbar above. You can adjust exposure, highlights, shadows, contrast, brightness, black point, saturation, vibrancy, warmth, tint, sharpness, definition, noise reduction and vignette.

how to edit on iphone

You also have an ‘Auto’ button that leaves the app to do the changes. There are lots of options to tweak your video to your liking.

mobile editing on iphone

If you are in a rush, you can select one of the built-in filters shown in the filters icon. You only have to choose the filter and adjust the intensity if you feel it’s too strong.

Finally, you can crop, flip and rotate your video. You can also choose from one of the aspect ratios available, making the crop easier and your video ready to publish.

If you shoot in the Cinematic mode, you will be able also to adjust the depth of field and change the focus points at any point of the video. Insane.

If you want to do more advanced edits or put some videos together, iMovie has everything you need. You can split clips, cut, trim, change the speed, adjust the volume, and add text and filters. So let’s see how to do it.

Recommended external apps

There are many external video editing apps if you want to experiment, go a step beyond or need more options for your edits. Some are free, and some work by subscription or initial payment. These are some of our favorites:


splice mobile editing app

With an intuitive layout and an impressive performance, you can do whatever you want with your videos with Splice. You have all the options of the most popular desktop apps and some that you can’t find in other mobile apps. These include background removal with chroma key, animation with the Ken Burns preset, cool effects (glitch, chroma, vintage), and there are others. Although it is a paid app, it offers a lot of bang for your buck.

Quik by GoPro

quik mobile editing software

As its name implies, it’s a perfect app for beginners since it lets you create videos in seconds. It comes with all the essential editing tools. You can add transitions and music and export in 1080p to share on your favorite platform.


inshot mobile editing software

Aside from the fundamental features, InShot offers lots of cool options:

  • Speed ramping
  • Emojis
  • Sound effects
  • Voice-over recording
  • Merge videos
  • PiP
  • Video transitions
  • Export in 4K
  • Share directly to social media.
  • There is also a Pro paid subscription with more options, like stickers, filter packages, etc.


animaker for mobile editing

Animaker is a DIY video-making with a simple drag-and-drop interface. It is one of the best apps to use for your video creation & editing needs, for both animated and live-action videos. It has a team collaboration feature and plenty of ready-to-use creative assets.


Now you know how to edit videos with a smartphone. As you see, the process is easier than ever before. Whether you edit with built-in apps or external apps, with iPhone or Android, you will find 99% of the features you use in your desktop app. If you need more tools or more advanced controls, you could look at one of the apps on the market.

In 2022, there are no excuses to be creative on the go. If you have an idea for a video, go there, shoot it and publish it on your favorite social media platform.

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Jose Prada is a filmmaker, musician and writer based in the UK and Spain. He has won several awards with short films and commercials and has published filmmaking courses on different platforms., the production company he founded together with Rene Strgar contributes high-end stock footage to Artgrid.

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