How to Edit Videos on iPhone and iPad

With more advances in smartphone technology, users now can shoot, edit and share their videos easily just by using a mobile device. The newest iPhones can shoot stunning 4K videos. The Time-lapse mode and slow-motion mode have been updated for the Camera app since iOS 8 released. And there is also a bevy of built-in features and third-party apps for editing and producing high-quality footage.

If you want to make your video look better before sharing, then you’ve come to right place. In this article, I’ll show you some basic editing functions you can use right in the stock Photos app, as well as further editing using iMovie – the free video editing app by Apple. The post is not aimed to teach you to produce professional-looking videos, but hopefully, it’ll give you a head start.

How to trim a video clip with the Photos app

The stock Photos app isn’t just for photo editing – it also has a function for trimming videos as well. So if you want to trim off some unnecessary parts of your video, you can do it right in the Photos app with the built-in editor.

1) Open the Photos app and tap on the video you’d like to edit.

2) Tap the Edit button in the top right corner to open the built-in editor.

How to Trim video with iPhone

3) You’ll see black markers with white arrows on either end. Dragging one of them will turn them yellow and enable you to pull them inwards. Now just drag either end of the yellow bar to cut out the portion you want to remove.

How to edit videos on iPhone

4) You can tap and hold on an anchor to expand the timeline for more precise editing.

5) Once you are happy with your selection, tap the yellow Done button at the bottom right. Select “Save as new clip” to save the new clip as a separate video clip. The original clip will still remain unchanged.

How to edit videos with iMovie

iMovie for iOS is Apple’s free mobile editing app available on the iPhone & iPad. With the help of this app, you can add a bit of polish to your clips, spiff them up with titles, transitions, and even background music.

The main screen of iMovie has three tabs: Video, Projects, and Theater. The Video tab is where you can find and select videos from your Camera Roll to edit, The Projects tab is where you’ll do most of your editing, and Theater is where you export finished movies.

Edit videos with iMovie

Let’s start making a movie in iMovie by going to the Projects tab and tapping on the “+” tile. You’ll be presented with two options: Movie and Trailer. In this tutorial, we will stick with Movie. Next, select the videos you want to edit. You can select multiple videos at once and also add still photos to your project as well.

Trim your videos

Tap the clip you want to trim, the selected clip will then be outlined in yellow. Go to the beginning or the end of the clip, then drag either yellow trim handle to shorten or lengthen the clip.

Trim videos with iMovie

Change the transition

If you add two or more videos/photos in the project, you’ll see the little square with the bow tie between your clips. To change the transition, tap on that icon and you’ll see a series of transitions styles including None, Dissolve, Slide, Wipe, and Fade.

Rotate a clip

To rotate a clip in the timeline, when it appears in the viewer, move your finger and thumb in a clockwise or counterclockwise twisting motion over the video image. This is perfect for videos shot upside down by mistake.

Rotate a clip in iMovie

The white arrow will appear indicating the video clip has been rotated. You can repeat this gesture as many times as necessary to achieve the orientation you want.

Add titles

iMovie is a movie maker app so adding titles is one of the essential functions. To add titles to a section of a clip, tap the clip to select it, then tap the “T” button at the bottom of the screen.

iMovie then lets you pick a style and position (Center or Lower) for the title. Once you’ve settled on a style, the default titles (“TITLE TEXT HERE”) will appear in the viewer. Tap on them and type in whatever title you like to replace.

Add titles to Clip iMovie

Split a clip

If you just add titles to the clip and don’t split it, then the titles will stay on the screen for the entire length of the clip. Splitting also allows you to adjust the duration of each section or remove unnecessary parts.

Here’s how to split your clip. First, you need to scroll the timeline to position the playhead where you want to split the clip. Then select the clip by tapping on it, tap the scissors icon, then tap Split. The clip will be split into two new separate parts and the title will disappear at the moment you split the initial clip.

Add music and sound effects

Adding an audio track is as simple as adding a photo or video to the project. Tap the plus button at the top left of the editor, then select Audio. iMovie lets you choose theme music, sound effects, and songs from your library. You can tap on a music track to listen and tap the “USE” button beside it to add it to the editing bay.

Apply a filter

You can add a video filter to a single clip by selecting it and tapping the Filter button at the bottom right of the screen. There are various video filters you can use, from B&W and Blast to Western and Vintage. If you just wish to apply a filter to a short portion of the clip, you need to split it before adding the filter.

Add filters to clip

Export and save your video

For starters, I think these techniques are enough to help you get familiar with the video editor. There are still plenty of handy iMovie tips and tricks I haven’t covered in this post. But once you’ve mastered these techniques, you can discover the others easily by yourself.

The next step is to export your video to the Theater tab or save to your Camera Roll. When you’re satisfied with the movie, just tap Done from the editing screen. Next, tap the Share button and select “iMovie Theater” (to export to iMovie Theater) or “Save Video” (to save it to Camera Roll).

Export videos from iMOvie

Bonus tip: iMovie does allow you export video at 60FPS. To turn it on, go to Settings > iMovie and toggle on the “Enable 60 fps export” option. When you have this turned on, your 60fps movie files in the project will be preserved in the resulting video with the original frame rate.

iMovie is great, but there are still lots of other excellent video editing apps on the App Store, check them out here.

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