Video editing & visual effects

HitFilm Pro

HitFilm Pro

Access professional video editing tools, precision colour grading, and 8K 32-bit editing with the all-in-one video production suite. With HitFilm Pro’s lightning-fast performance and intuitive interface, video editing has never been so easy.

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best video editing apps in 2021

Best video editing apps for desktop, mobile, and browser 2021

Video editing has become an important part of how we share our lives and express ourselves. These are the best video editing apps for beginners across all platforms and budgets.

Video editing has become an important part of how we share our lives and express ourselves. These are the best video editing apps for beginners across all platforms and budgets.

Do you consider yourself to be a video editor? Maybe not, but if you share to social media, then you probably already are! Every step you take to get your footage ready to share is video editing. Trimming clips, adding text, or using filters.

Desktop, mobile, and web apps are available to help here. Free to download or buy, they make video editing open to all.

Helping you choose

This guide highlights some of the year’s best, easy-to-use video editing apps. Each is geared to readying videos quickly for social media, YouTube, making memes, or home movies.

In this article, we’ll cover some of the best video editing apps on the market, with the pros and cons of each to help you choose the one that’s best for you.

Best video editing apps for desktop

HitFilm Express - best video editing app for desktop

HitFilm Express

HitFilm Express is one of the best free video editing apps available, combining an easy-to-use NLE workflow with a powerful VFX suite to get creative with, allowing you to complete all your post-production work in one place.

How HitFilm Express helps you:

  • Import support for all typical video (up to 4K), audio, and image files.
  • Over 415 visual effects and presets ranging from color correction and keying to distortion and particle presets.
  • Built-in voice recorder for easily adding voice-over audio.
  • Professional text and titling options with 3D and animated effects.
  • Various export presets with customizable settings giving you the perfect video for any platform.
  • Swap scene backgrounds with Chroma Key green screening and apply cinematic color grading.
  • Adjust and enhance your audio with the built-in Audio Mixer.
  • Reframe GoPro videos, and present multiple clips with the Picture in Picture (PiP) effect.

HitFilm Express’s enormous capabilities can be expanded with a wide range of add-ons, while users can learn everything from the basics of the software to more advanced effects with our free masterclass guides.

For everybody keen to consider themselves true video editors, there is only one option. HitFilm is the natural all-in-one choice for now and next-level filmmakers.

Best video editing apps for mobile

Quik - best video editing app for mobile icon

GoPro Quik (iOS/Android)

GoPro Quik is a mobile video editing app optimized for previewing shots and fast editing. Share from the camera roll to Quik’s Mural cloud storage before choosing from various theme styles and environmental filters. 

Manual trimming, cropping, and coloring tools are joined by one-tap speed adjustment for fast/slow motion and freeze-framing. Highlight videos can be generated automatically with syncing of original music selections to the edits. 

If you are a GoPro camera user, the app also allows GoPro 360 footage to be reframed. Control the camera from a distance, trigger recording, and adjust settings.

  • Doubles as a GoPro camera remote control.
  • The frame grab tool captures photos from videos.
  • Live stream and social media sharing options.
  • Features optimized specifically for GoPro users.
  • Free download but subscription required for full unlock.
  • Best suited to short, mobile-shot videos.
Lumafusion - best video editing app for mobile icon

LumaFusion (iOS)

As a paid app for iPhone ($29.99), LumaFusion should be considered an advanced choice. In terms of video editing and effects, this is more “pro” in capability with multiple tracks for combining clips, photos, audio, text, and narration.

LumaFusion’s “Magnetic” timeline allows for basic editing and transitions, keyframes, animations, and layers of special effects. Color corrections and chroma key filters for green screening are also available alongside modes for slow and fast motion.

Other key features include a dedicated audio mixer and a titler tool for creating rich text-based overlays in style.

  • Genuine multi-track editor with advanced effects.  
  • Dedicated titler tool for adding multi-layered text.
  • Social media and cloud storage export options.
  • It doesn’t have a free trial and must be purchased for $29.99.
  • Complex edits on mobile could prove a clunkier experience.
Magisto video editing app icon

Magisto (iOS/Android/web)

Magisto is an online app that applies “Emotion Sense” technology to editing your videos. Made by Vimeo, the app uses smart algorithms to tell more emotive stories. 

Choosing an Editing Style sets the effects, transitions, and playback speeds best suited to achieving the look you want. 

A library of customizable design templates offers a quicker way of creating popular event videos. Examples for occasions like birthday celebrations, family get-togethers, and weddings are all possible.

Uploaded audio or choices from Magisto’s own music library are tracked automatically in line with the on-screen action. Enhancements such as color correction and image stabilization are also possible.

  • Mobile version available for iPhone and Android.
  • Smart features optimize the editing process for you.  
  • Versatile selection of styles and templates to choose from.
  • Requires online sign-in to access.
  • Trial only lasts 7-days before purchase is required.
  • Automation may not give enough control to expert editors.

Best browser-based video editing app

InVideo - best video editing app for browser


InVideo claims to let you produce sharable videos in just 15 minutes. Starting from a gallery of 4000 editable templates, simple scene customizations can be made via the timeline-based interface. 

Animations, logos, and stickers can all be added beside a huge library of usable assets. Media from iStock, Shutterstock, and others, is available with music for soundtracking the action. InVideo’s text-to-video feature also allows you to present an article. 

Write a script or give it a web link, and the app “scrapes” the words to build a text-based video instead. So useful for blogs!

  • Free account signup is available. 
  • Text to video feature generates text-based sequences. 
  • Premium accounts include access to iStock library assets.
  • Advanced video editing tools are more limited.
  • Full access unlocked with “Unlimited” ($30/pm) signup only.
  • Output resolution only goes as high as 1080p.
Animoto icon


Animoto could be seen as comparable with InVideo, with both being cloud-based apps. Again it offers simplified video editing around pre-made templates you can customize with drag and drop tools. 

Upload your own clips and photos or choose assets from Animoto’s Getty Images library. Add text and licensed music, then set colors to match a brand, add logo watermarks and then share the finished video in several ways. 

Share socially to YouTube, Facebook, or Twitter in just one click, or generate embedded links for websites and file download. Animoto optimizes videos across three aspect ratios, so they look right on any device.

  • Library of stock images and music to use. 
  • Create unlimited videos with lifetime licenses.
  • A cloud-based app that allows for anywhere editing.
  • Free account features Animoto branding on videos.
  • 1080p resolution only unlocked with a paid subscription.
  • Templates might seem restrictive to expert editors.

Video has become so accessible that it will never cease to be an important part of how we share our lives. We hope these apps give you a great place to start when you decide to capture the important moments in your life and share them with the world.

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Mark Billen

Mark Billen

I'm a freelance artist, musician, and writer based on the south coast. Passionate for video and filmmaking, I'm the former editor of Web Designer magazine and I regularly contribute creative tech articles to iCreate and Broadband Genie. @Mark_Billen
Mark Billen

Mark Billen

I'm a freelance artist, musician, and writer based on the south coast. Passionate for video and filmmaking, I'm the former editor of Web Designer magazine and I regularly contribute creative tech articles to iCreate and Broadband Genie. @Mark_Billen