Smartphone cameras continue to get better and better, with plenty of options not just for photographers, but for videographers too. When working on video for social media, it is particularly useful to shoot, edit and post from your phone. So, what are the best video editing apps available for smartphones?

Choosing the right one for you will likely mostly depend on what kind of video creator you are and where you plan on publishing your videos. Many like CapCut and Canva, have social media friendly features that make them stand out to TikTok and Instagram content creators. Others like KineMaster are geared towards more professional video editing. It’s also worth considering if you’ll do cross-platform video editing, in which case Adobe Premiere Rush would be one to consider.

We will have a look at a variety of choices below, whether you’re an advanced pro, a beginner looking for a free tool, or a social media creator. All the apps on this list are available on both Android and Apple iOS, so that isn’t really much of an issue to consider unless you’re planning on going for iMovie, which is Apple device exclusive. Most of these apps are free, though many do have a paid ‘Pro’ version that affords you more tools and features, as well as the ability to remove small watermarks.

Then there’s social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok which have their own editing tools from within the apps, which are more basic but will do the job for shorter videos meant for social media.

Best video editing apps in 2023

Adobe Premiere Rush

Best video editing apps for phones in 2023, Adobe Rush

Screenshot by Isabella Ruffatti.

Adobe Premiere Rush is the mobile version of Adobe’s Premiere Pro video editing software. It has many tools from Premiere Pro that are useful to beginner and intermediate video editors. For example, you have several audio and video tracks, a selection of motion graphic templates to choose from, preset and manual colour correction.

Additionally, when finished with your edits, you can export your video to any social channel direct from the app, as well as the desktop version of the app and Adobe Premiere Pro for further edits. Adobe Premiere Rush is among the most complete apps for video editing on this list, all without being overly complicated for beginners. It is available to download for free (with an Adobe account) or as part of the Adobe Express plan.


Cap Cut screenshot

Screenshot by: Isabella Ruffatti.

Those who mostly edit on their phones and publish on social media will find CapCut mostly meets their needs. It is a particularly good option for content creators, especially TikTokers. It provides everything from basic video editing tools to more specialised features like video templates, a text-to-speech feature and access to trending TikTok sounds. This is no surprise, as CapCut is owned by TikTok creator ByteDance.

The app can be downloaded for free on Android and iOS. It also has a desktop version and you can subscribe to CapCut Pro for extra features.

Apple iMovie

iMovie best video editing apps

Credit: Apple.

  • Pricing: Free
  • Platforms: Apple iOS

Apple’s iMovie is a good entry-level option for those just starting out in video editing who own an Apple device, as it is easy-to-use while including a variety of title and transition options to choose from, a green screen effect, as well as stabilisation and volume adjustments.

The downside is that it is not as feature-rich as others on this list and there are better options if you’re a professional video editor. While this app is Apple-exclusive and is already pre-installed on Macs and other iOS devices, unlike the other apps on this list it is 100% free.


Canva phone app video editor screenshot

Screenshot by Isabella Ruffatti.

Canva is an all-in-one type of app for graphic design that is also a photo editor and video editor. As such, it is a great option for businesses and professionals who create both photo and video content for social media.

One thing to keep in mind though is that despite having very much the same video editing tools as other apps on this list, Canva does look different and uses different terms, which can get some getting used to. The paid version, Canva Pro includes extra tools such as social media scheduling, branding, premium templates, AI editing tools and more.


KineMaster video editing app screenshot

Screenshot by: Isabella Ruffatti.

One for intermediate and advanced video editors, KineMaster brings a wide range of high-end features such as the ability to edit using layers and audio mixing. All packed into a horizontal timeline that looks like a game console.

This app also allows for purposeful frame-by-frame trimming of video clips and audio that is particularly handy when you’re editing video on a phone. A pesky downside is that on the free version, there is a small watermark that cannot be removed.


Screenshot of InShot video editing app

Screenshot by: Isabella Ruffatti.

  • Pricing: Free or $3.99 a month / £3.99 a month
  • Platforms: Apple iOS and Android.

Like CapCut and Canva, InShot is a very social friendly video editor, including a similar music library, the ability to add stickers, GIFs, creative video effects, and doodles to overlay on your videos. It is easy to use comes with quite a lot of features besides the basics geared at those looking to quickly make videos for social media.

Unfortunately, the free version does come with a watermark. The paid version does without it and comes with paid transitions (including TikTok transitions), effects, stickers and more. Plus no ads. There’s also a one-off purchase available for more advanced features.


FilmoraGo video editing app screenshot

Screenshot by: Isabella Ruffatti.

  • Pricing: Free or $6.99 a month / £6.99 a month
  • Platforms: Apple iOS and Android.

The thing that makes Filmora stand out despite not having advanced features such as multi-track editing or 4K support that other apps like Kinemaster have, is that it is easy to use and beginner video editors can use to quickly put together quality short videos with the help of tools specifically for making a video in a few steps like preset templates, its large library of themed effects and transitions, as well as AI tools like AI Smart CutOut.

The Filmora free app does have a watermark that can be deleted if you have the paid version of the app, which also lets you export at a resolution higher than 720p, up to 4K.

Social media video editing tools

Best video editing apps, social media TikTok and Instagram

TikTok (left) and Instagram (right) both offer basic video editing tools right on their apps. Screenshot by: Isabella Ruffatti.

Instagram and TikTok

Instagram and TikTok both allow you to edit your video before posting. They mostly do the job and are extremely convenient. Especially if you want to use it to add in Instagram or TikTok’s own audio and effects and once that’s done, publish the finished product onto either of these social media platforms.

One thing to keep in mind is that though both give you access to specific Instagram and TikTok effects directly on the app, TikTok does offer more tools, effects and filters than Instagram, which is currently limited to Instagram’s existing filter library.

Are you a content creator or video maker? Enter our new Creator of the Year competition for the chance to win £2,000 to spend at Fujifilm!

Related content:

Follow AP on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and TikTok.