Apple’s iMovie software for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad can turn your mobile device into pretty powerful movie editing studio for just $4.99. But it’s not the only game in town. In fact, iMovie wasn’t even the first video editor for iOS. ReelDirector has been letting iPhone users edit movies on the go since late 2009, although the app has come a long way (and dropped in price) since it was first launched.
Here’s a roundup of 10 apps you can use to edit movies on an iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad. Note that most apps require an iPhone 3GS or newer device.
1. iMovie ([itunes link=”http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/imovie/id377298193?mt=8&uo=4″ title=”$4.99″ text=”$4.99″])
It would be tough to write about iOS video editors without mentioning iMovie. While Apple’s mobile video editor may not have been the first to hit the scene, it definitely set a high bar for video editors with the ability to trim and combine videos, arrange clips, add transitions titles, and audio, and export videos at 360p, 540p, or 720p resolutions.
You can also use iMovie to loop music files, stream video to an Apple TV, or upload videos directly to YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo, or CNN iReport.
Splice is a full featured video editor which lets you create and edit movies from photos, videos, and audio on your device. The app has a built-in audio editor that lets you add sound effects from the Splice library, use audio from your device, or record narration.
You can use Splice to add titles and transitions, or to resize crop, or delete video elements. When you’re done, you can export videos to your camera roll.
3. Vimeo ([itunes link=”http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/vimeo/id425194759?mt=8&uo=4″ title=”Vimeo” text=”free”])
Vimeo is an online video site and the company’s mobile app lets users find and watch videos on their mobile device or manage videos uploaded to their accounts. But it also features a built-in video editor which offers many of the features you’d find in standalone video editors such as iMovie or Splice.
You can record new videos or import movies stored on your device for editing, and then add titles, transitions, and audio. You can trim or combine clips, add sound effects, and upload your videos directly to the Vimeo web site. If you’d rather keep your videos to yourself or upload them to another site, Vimeo lets you export movies to your camera roll as well.
4. ReelDirector ([itunes link=”http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/reeldirector/id334366844?mt=8&uo=4″ title=”ReelDirector” text=”$1.99″])
This app was one of the first video editors for iOS, and while it hasn’t been updated in a while, ReelDirector still has a few stand-out features such as support for panning and zooming. You can perform the usual edits with ReelDirector including trimming and splitting video files, adding transitions or text overlays, and adjusting volume levels.
5. Video Edit ([itunes link=”http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/video-edit/id354701748?mt=8&uo=4″ title=”Video Edit” text=”$2.99″])
This simple video editing app doesn’t have as many features as some of its competitors, but it’s known for it’s speed. The app basically lets you trim clips or combine several clips to create one movie. There are no fancy effects or transitions. But the developer claims that because Video Edit doesn’t do as much as iMovie, it can render videos up to 10 times faster.
6. Video Ninja ([itunes link=”http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/video-ninja/id347095821?mt=8&uo=4″ title=”Video Ninja” text=”$0.99″])
Video Ninja is another app that takes the approach that less is more. The app lets you split, trim, and combine clips. You can also save longer movies than you’d normally be able to fit on the camera roll, although Video Ninja does this by reducing video quality.
7. Quick Cut Pro ([itunes link=”http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/quick-cut-pro/id421348353?mt=8&uo=4″ title=”Quick Cut Pro” text=”$0.99″])
Quick Cut Pro is another simple video editor that focuses on speed rather than a large toolkit. The app lets you combine, arrange, and split clips. It doesn’t have any fancy effects, but the developer says the app can process a video as much as 5 times faster than real-time video playback. In other words, it should take around 15 seconds to render a 1 minute video project.
8. 1st Video ([itunes link=”http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/1stvideo-consumer-edition/id370524711?mt=8&uo=4″ title=”1st Video” text=”$9.99″])
At $9.99, 1st Video is the most expensive of the bunch, but it’s also one of the most powerful. The app looks a lot like a desktop video editor, with support for multitrack audio editing with volume envelope editing and sound mixing. You can also add a second video track on top of the first for visual effects.
1st Video supports transitions and titles, and has detailed toolbars for advanced editing functions.
9. Video-Joiner ([itunes link=”http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/video-joiner/id391412705?mt=8&uo=4″ title=”Video Joiner” text=”$1.99″] or [itunes link=”http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/video-joiner-free/id397792664?mt=8&uo=4″ title=”Video Joiner Free” text=”free”])
As the name suggests, Video Joiner is a simple app that joins two or more videos to create a single movie. The free app can only join 2 movies at a time, while the full version doesn’t have that limit.
There are no transitions, titles, or other effects, and you can’t trim videos with this app. If all you need to do is join a a few videos, the free version might fit your needs. If you need more advanced editing capabilities, you might want to check out some of the other editors on this list.
10. iMusicVideo ([itunes link=”http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/imusicvideo-video-soundtrack/id381444521?mt=8&uo=4″ title=”iMusicVideo” text=”$2.99″])
I’m probably being generous by calling this app a video editor, since it doesn’t actually let you trim, split, or combine video files. Rather, it’s an app that lets you add a soundtrack to videos on your camera roll and then share the resulting “music video” via YouTube, Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, Vimeo, MMS, email, or FTP. You can also export a video back to your camera roll.
Since you could use a free app like Vimeo or Splice to add audio files to your videos, this single purpose app seems a bit overpriced at $2.99. It’s also been a while since iMusicVideo has been updated, and a number of iTunes comm enters have left complaints about crashes and other bugs.