9 Best Free and Easy Editing Apps You Should Know
Nov 17, 2020• Proven solutions
Have you ever made a video 100% on your phone using a mobile video editing app?
If you’ve just started off on YouTube, there’s a good chance your main camera is the one in your phone. Actually, there’s a good chance of that even if you’ve been making YouTube videos for a while now.
Since you’re shooting videos on your phone, why shouldn’t you edit them there too? Here are 9 free video editing apps you can use for YouTube.
Note: This is not a ranked list. The apps will appear in alphabetical order.
- Adobe Premiere Clip (Android or iOS)
- Cameo (iOS)
- Clips (iOS)
- FilmoraGo (Android or iOS)
- Funimate (Android or iOS)
- iMovie (iOS)
- Movie Maker Filmmaker by Alive (Android or iOS)
- PowerDirector (Android)
- Vlogit (Android or iOS)
Adobe Premiere Clip (Android or iOS)
- Automatic using clips. Times them to music
- Guides you with pop-up tips
- No text/title overlays
- Exports directly to YouTube
Adobe Premiere Pro is a professional-grade desktop editor, and Adobe Premiere Clip lives up to the quality standards set by its big-brother software. It is missing some features you might want for YouTube videos, like title effects, but it does have some bells and whistles. There’s a good selection of filters.
Making changes to your picture, like adjusting the exposure or the prevalence of highlights or shadows, is just a matter of sliding bars. The tools for splitting and duplicating clips are easy to find too. You just toggle between the two icons right above your video – the one that looks like a shutter and the one that looks like adjustment bars – to switch between the picture tools and the other tools.
You cannot add what you might normally think of as a title effect in Adobe Premiere Clip, so it’ll be hard to fully complete your video. You can add text cards to put in-between your video clips, but you can’t overlay the title on top of a clip.
You can share your video directly to YouTube when you export.
- Easy-to-apply themes
- Customizable titles
- Limited features
- Exports to 4K (if your clips are 4K)
Vimeo is a video sharing site with more of a ‘filmmaker’ focus than YouTube, so it isn’t a surprise that their mobile editing app Cameo can export high-quality 4K videos.
Like some of the other apps on this list, Cameo does not have a huge variety of functions. You can reorder your clips, trim them, add titles, and apply themes (essentially filter and title combos).
There are three icons on the main interface: Scissors, a Music Note, and Filters.
The Scissors will take you to the trimming screen, where you can make your clip shorter or longer.
You can also add a title in the trimming screen, but you will not be able to change the font style or color until you are in the Filter screen.
In the Filter screen (tap the overlapping filters icon on the main interface) you will be able to adjust the color of your text by tapping on the circle with the A in it. Tapping where it says ‘Font’ will change your font style.
You can also tap on Themes and choose a premade style.
Here’s what ‘Crush’ looks like applied:
My font was changed, and there’s also a filter now. In order to apply a filter, you must start with a theme.
- Great selection of stickers
- Lacks some basic tools
- Simple interface
Clips is an intuitive app with a lot of options for decorating your videos. It is lacking in some of the more basic editings features you might expect (i.e. you cannot split clips or do any color correction), but it has a lot of fun features like stickers and emojis that could make up for that depending on your needs.
There are also more traditional effects, like filters and titles. There are a wide range of title options in styles that are popular on YouTube, and a fairly standard filter selection.
While you cannot split clips in this app, but trimming and reordering them is easy. For trimming, you just select the clip and then Trim to open a screen where you can drag the start and end points of the clip.
To rearrange your clips, just tap the clip you want to move and hold down. You’ll be able to drag it to a new location.
It’d be hard to rely on Clips exclusively as your YouTube video editor, but it’s well suited for Instagram or for making quick ‘on-the-go’ videos.
- Export directly to YouTube
- 16:9 or 1:1 for Instagram
- Includes effects like transitions, filters, and overlays
- End-roll logo
You can make a complete video easily just by tapping and dragging in FilmoraGo, and there are even effects like filters, transitions, and overlays you can add to make your video more polished.
After importing your media into FilmoraGo (you can import videos and photos saved on your phone, or media which has been uploaded to a social media account like Facebook or Instagram) you can change the order of your clips by tapping one, pressing down for a moment, and then dragging your clips where you want them.
Trimming a clip is as simple as tapping on it and then Duration. You’ll get this screen where you can adjust the length easily by dragging the markers to beginning or endpoints.
Cropping and zooming are simple too.
FilmoraGo comes with pre-made themes you can apply which include titles, filters, and other effects. These might not be ideal if you already have branding you like to use for YouTube, but in some situations, they can make video creation a lot faster.
FilmoraGo comes loaded with music, or you can even import your own music from your phone.
Once you’re done, tap ‘save’ in the top right corner of your screen to export your video. From the save screen, you’ll be able to export your video directly to YouTube.
One potential drawback is that FilmoraGo will add its own logo to the end of your exported video. This logo will not distract from your video content since it is added at the end and never overlaps any of your clips, but it still might not be ideal for all creators.
- Easily add text and shapes
- Rainbow doodling
- Shake effects
- Small ‘Funimate’ watermark in videos from the free version
Funimate is lives up to the ‘fun’ promise in its name. It’s designed mostly for music videos/Musical.ly and while it is missing a lot of more typical editing options, there are a few free tools in Funimate that other apps just don’t have.
For example, there are shake and distortion effects available through Funimate that you usually only find in desktop software.
You can also draw rainbow designs on your video with your finger – no other app on this list can do that.
The text tool in Funimate is easy to use, and there are cool looking glow effects you can apply in the color selection screen. Those options are also available when you’re adding shapes, likes stars and sparkles.
Funimate is not built for typical editing, which is both its strength and its weakness. Trimming your clips is its own stage which you must complete before you start adding effects, and you cannot split clips or add multiple clips.
The free version of Funimate does add a small watermark to your videos in the bottom-right corner, but it is subtle enough that I almost missed it completely while reviewing the app.
- Trailer templates
- Limited tools and resources
iMovie’s mobile app is designed for ease and includes things like ‘trailer templates’ and themes that allow you to make a video quickly and with minimal effort.
This streamlined app is limited in its features. Other apps on this list have left out color correction tools or clip splitting tools and instead loaded up on decorative features like stickers, emojis, and overlays. iMovie has left out these tools and does not have an abundance of decorative features either.
There are filters, themes, and titles, however.
The titles are simple but polished, and you’ll find all the standard types of filters.
The themes include a variety of graphics and are applied to your entire video, not individual clips. You can also apply one filter to your entire video.
iMovie also includes a decent selection of transitions, which you can apply easily by tapping the area between two clips.
Movie Maker Filmmaker by Alive (Android or iOS)
- Good title tool
- Change clip duration
- 16:9 or 1:1
Movie Maker Filmmaker (the app will be labeled ‘Alive’ in on your phone) has a lot of features that will help you put together a fun YouTube video. There’s a great selection of stickers, filters, and overlays and they’re all easy to apply. You just click on what you want and resize/reposition it in the player.
This app is missing a lot of basic editing features, however. You cannot adjust things like brightness or saturation. This won’t be a problem if you’re happy with your clips as-is, but it’s a bit odd to not have those options.
There is a text tool and while it is fairly basic, it is also flexible. There is a good selection of fonts to choose from, and you can also choose whether or not you want a colored background, and if your text should have a shadow.
Once you’ve decided on the look of your text you can drag it, resize it, and tilt it however you want in the preview screen.
A slightly odd feature of this app is that it doesn’t save your video to your phone or export it directly to YouTube. Instead, it saves it – and shares it – within the app and gives you the option of sharing it with YouTube after.
- A timeline like desktop software
- All the basic editing features
- Lots of transitions
- Videos from the free version will be watermarked
The first thing you’ll notice when you open up Power Director is that the interface looks a lot like the interface of a lot of desktop editors with a very classic timeline. This familiarity could make it easy to jump into if you’re used to editing on your laptop.
However, Power Director is a bit less intuitive than most of the other apps on this list. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s difficult to use – it isn’t, it’s much easier than a lot of desktop software – but among mobile apps designed for streamlined efficiency it does stand out as being a bit harder to dive into.
That is partly because there’s a lot you can do with it. It has the tools you would expect in an editor. You can split and trim clips, and you have all the standard color tools including some that most mobile apps leave out.
A lot of apps have Brightness, Contrast, and Saturation, but PowerDirector also has Color Temperature and Tint.
In addition to editing tools, PowerDirector has bells and whistles like filters –
- and a ton of great transitions.
One drawback of PowerDirector is that the free version will watermark your videos. This watermark is not intrusive, but it isn’t as subtle as the Funimate one either.
You can export videos from PowerDirector directly to YouTube.
- Easy thumbnail maker
- Export directly to YouTube
- Animated stickers
Vlogit is also an app from the creators of the Filmora Video Editor. It isn’t quite as intuitive as FilmoraGo, but the major benefit of Vlogit for YouTube creators is that it was designed with you in mind. It has features like animated stickers, emojis, and a thumbnail maker which were included specifically because YouTubers and vloggers need them.
All the usual adjustments you might want to make, like saturation or sharpness, are easy in Vlogit. So are adjustments to the length or crop of clips.
After you save your video you’ll have the option of creating a thumbnail using a screenshot from your video. You can add a colored border, text, emojis, and more!
Once you’re done, you can export directly to YouTube. Like FilmoraGo, Vlogit does have a post-video logo roll.
Have you ever used a free mobile app to edit one of your YouTube videos? What did you use, and were you happy with the results?