The iPhone has always been more than just a device for checking email, surfing the web and posting Facebook status updates. It’s a great tool for creating content as well as consuming it, and nowhere is this more apparent than with video.
The iPhone is a fantastic tool for shooting video, as demonstrated by one of the breakout hits from 2015’s Sundance movie festival, Tangerine which was shot entirely on an iPhone 5s.
The makers of that movie used an app called Filmic Pro, a steadicam (essential to avoid shaky camera syndrome) and a set of anamorphic lenses (to give the film a cinematic look) to shoot a complete movie. But it’s not the shooting of video that the iPhone is good for, you can edit movies on it too, and while you might not want to edit an entire full-length movie on one, it’s more than up to the job of putting together shots for a short home movie or YouTube submission.
For most people Apple’s own iMovie is the go-to app for editing movies on either an iPhone or an iPad, but there are lots of other apps which can trim, cut, splice, and add effects, titles, and a soundtrack to your iPhone masterpiece. Here are a few of the best.
1. Clips Video Editor
Clips is about as simple as video editing gets, but that doesn’t mean it lacks power. It’s a terrific tool for importing clips from your Photos library and putting them together while adding music.
Once you’ve launched the app and chosen the clips you want to import, you decide on the background music you want to add, if any. Then you land on the edit screen where you can trim clips, by dragging grab handles, and re-order them, by dragging a clip up or down the screen.
You can then add transitions and alter the speed of clips. Once you’re done you can share them wherever you choose. Sadly, Clips’ developer has been bought by Google back in November 2015 with the app expected to disappear from the App Store within three months. However, as of March 2016 it’s still on the App Store – so grab it while you can!
2. Replay Video Editor
If you’re one of those people who shoots lots of video but never gets around to editing it, Replay is perfect. It does most of the work for you.
You just choose the videos and photos you want to include in your movie and then choose from one of 30 editing ‘styles’ – think of them like themes in iMovie. Replay also chooses the music it thinks best suits your movie and synchronizes it with the photos and videos you’ve chosen. If any of your shots are in portrait mode it cleverly adds a blurred version of the shot, as a substitute for black bars either side of the image.
Manual edits are limited to choosing a style, altering the pace, and changing fonts and filters. But if its a quick edit of a day out you want so you can share it on Instagram, it’s ideal.
3. Vee for Video
Price: $4.99 (£3.99)
Vee for Video allows you to shoot video within the app, as well as edit it. Each clip you shoot is automatically added to your timeline. You can shoot in 720p, 1080, or 4K – device permitting, and at up to 240 frames per second for terrific slow motion action. Vee also allows you to manually set exposure and focus independently of each other by tapping on the screen. And, helpfully, you can line up your next shot using a transparent overlay of the previous shot.
Once you’ve shot everything you need, you can trim clips, re-order them on the timeline and add effects. There are twelve transitions to choose from, as well as a stabilizer for wobbly clips and you can add a soundtrack from your Music library.
Clipper is another app aimed at Instagrammers. It allows you to import videos and photos from your Photos library, trim them, crop those shot in portrait mode and arrange them in the order you want them.
You can then add effects, choose a piece of music from Clipper’s library, and share the finished version on Twitter or Facebook. If you don’t want to choose a piece of music from Clipper’s library you can choose from your own music or have no music at all and just use the audio from your video clips.
5. Pinnacle Studio Pro
Price: $12.99 (£9.99)
At the opposite end of the video editing spectrum to the likes of Replay and Clipper, Pinnacle Studio Pro is about as high-end a video editing tool as you can get on the iPhone or iPad.
You can import video from almost anywhere, be it your Photos Library, Dropbox, or another app. Once you’ve arranged your clips in the order you want them in the Storyboard, a Precision Trimmer allows you to make precise edits and trim clips frame-by-frame. There are 16 transitions to choose from, full control over titles, picture-in-picture and pan and zoom for photos.
There’s even a built-in audio mixer so you get those levels just right. The level of the detail in the interface means Pinnacle Studio Pro is more suited to the iPad than the iPhone, but it’s a Universal app so you can try it on both.
Like Vee for Video, Movie Pro allows you to shoot video in the app and includes many of the features seen in Filmic Pro, but in this case allows you to edit video as well.
You can import movies and photos from your Photos Library to add to the ones you shoot in the app and then trim and merge them on the timeline. As you would expect, you can re-order clips, split them and add titles and transitions. You can also rotate clips.
There are two editors in the app. One allows you to apply edits, such as trim or rotate, to individual clips, while the other allows you to work with multiple clips.
And those are the best video editing apps available for your iPhone! It’s certainly worth trying a few out to see which suits your needs best.