Here are the truly free smartphone video editing apps

Mar 23, 2024, 6:30 AM

(Pexels Photo)...

(Pexels Photo)

(Pexels Photo)

Q: Every time I find a ‘free’ smartphone video editing app, it ends up requiring payment to use a lot of the tools.  Are there any completely free apps for beginners?

A: Editing videos was once the domain of powerful desktop computers and uber-expensive and complex programs that required you to learn a new language.

The processing power on our smartphones has grown exponentially, allowing anyone to perform sophisticated video editing tasks with just a few taps of the screen these days.

Avoiding the ‘Freemium’ Trap

Just about every video editing app in either of the app stores will present as a free download, which is designed to get you to try them.  The hope is that you’ll use the free portion of the app and become convinced that paying for the premium features makes sense – this is known as the ‘freemium’ business model.

It can get very irritating to spend time getting your video edited just the way you want it only to find out that if you don’t want the app’s watermark on your video, you’ll have to pay.

The key to avoiding these hidden roadblocks is to look closely at the app description before downloading it to see if it includes “in-app purchases”, which is a clear indication that it’s not a completely free app.

iMovie for iOS Devices

If you have an iPhone or iPad, Apple provides a completely free app called iMovie that is both powerful and easy to use.

It’s capable of working with 4K videos shot from your iPhone, GoPro, or any other Ultra High Definition source, and comes with lots of templates, filters, and preset enhancements.

If your video is a little shaky from rapid movement, you can use the stabilize option to significantly improve the ‘watchability’ of the clip.

It’s easy to add titles, transitions, sound effects, music beds, and narration which can lead to some pretty entertaining results.

A complete iMovie user guide is posted here.

YouTube Create for Android Devices

If your smartphone or tablet uses the Android OS, a recently released app from Google called YouTube Create is an awesome option.

It’s still in the beta stage, meaning that it’s still under development and might be a little buggy if you get into some of the more complex tools, but I’ve had great results from it.

It’s designed to make editing and uploading videos to YouTube super easy, but you don’t have to be a YouTube creator to make use of this powerful app.

It provides 40 different transitions to seamlessly blend your clips together, a bevy of filters, and 14 different manual adjustment tools to clean up your clips.

It’s easy to trim or split clips, clean up the audio, and add titles or captions as well as voiceovers.

Don’t Be Afraid!

The key to any video editing app is to experiment with all the tools so you know which ones are suited to your style of editing. Your original video clips are never in danger as your edited videos will be saved as a copy, so don’t be afraid to try everything you see in these apps!

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Here are the truly free smartphone video editing apps