How to Edit Videos on Your Phone [iPhone & Android] Step by Step Guide

Last Updated on Mar. 8, 2024 – by David Morgan
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How to Edit Videos On Your Phone

With the advances in camera technology over the past 10 years phones have replaced traditional camcorders in many parts of our lives. iPhones have even been used to shoot professional commercials, music videos and even feature films. Coupled with one of the highly powerful video editing apps available on iOS or Android, you can create polished, professional-level videos directly on a mobile device.

We’ve put this guide together to teach you how to edit videos on iPhone and Android like a pro.

How to Edit Videos on iPhone & Android

Video editing has become easier and more manageable over time. It wasn’t that long ago that people had to shoot video, lug their equipment back to the studio, and wait to upload it on a desktop computer. Smartphones have eliminated that downtime.

Mobile editing allows you to create content when and where you want. It’s ideal for putting together a video on an Android phone or Apple tablet if you need to tackle a short and simple project. Mobile video editing can also round out your marketing strategy, helping you save money on software and production crews.

Perhaps the most significant upside to mobile video editing is its convenience. You can trim, combine, or split clips from the comfort of your handheld device. You can create a full commercial or snazzy intro without relying on expensive video editing tools that also have daunting learning curves.

Video production using mobile phone - iOS or Android device

There are a lot of mobile video editing apps out there to choose from. There are free ones, some with a one-time cost, and others that require a subscription. Some apps are ideal for beginners and others are made for professionals. In this article we’re going to use a beginner-friendly, free video editing app to demonstrate all the techniques you need to know. If you want to follow along simply download and install PowerDirector, a Google Play Editor’s Choice, from your device’s app store.

In the following sections, we will cover more in-depth video editing scenarios with the PowerDirector Video Editor App.

How to Trim & Split Videos

  1. Open the app and create a new project.
  2. To trim your video add it to the timeline and move the sliders on each side of the clip. This effect changes where the video starts and stops. Tap the play button to preview your new clip.
  3. To split your video, move the playhead where you want to make the cut. You will see a white line at that mark. You can pinch open the clip to zoom in on the video.
  4. Tap the split icon to slice the clip.

How to Combine Videos

  1. Download a video editing app to combine two clips. We recommend PowerDirector for a fast and efficient experience. PowerDirector is available for iOS and Android.
  2. Open PowerDirector and select “New Project.” Name the project, and then select the two clips you want to combine from your phone’s storage.
  3. Edit and trim the clips on the timeline as needed. If you upload several clips, make sure they are in the correct order.
  4. Select “Save” or “Share.” Saving allows you to create a version of the video in your camera roll while sharing lets you send it to friends and family. You can retrieve the video later for further editing, if necessary.

How to Pan and Zoom Videos

  1. Open the PowerDirector app for your iPhone or Android device.
  2. After uploading your desired clips, select the “Pan & Zoom” tool. Click “Custom” from the options menu.
  3. Panning and zooming use similar approaches. You need to select a starting point and an endpoint in both cases.
  4. To pan video clips, choose a designated frame at the starting point. Your selection must be smaller than the existing video dimensions.
  5. Toggle to the endpoint. Move the frame to the desired location without adjusting the size. If you want the camera to pan from left to right, move your selection to the right side of the video.
  6. To zoom in, tap the starting point. You can select the entire frame or crop the existing video.
  7. Click the endpoint. Move the frame to the place where you want to focus the viewer’s attention. Adjust the frame, so it’s smaller than the one at the starting point. When you preview the video, the camera will zoom in on this section.

How to Add Text and Titles to Videos

  1. Open the PowerDirector video editor.
  2. Upload the videos from your iPhone or Android.
  3. To add text and titles, click the “Layers” icon on the left. It resembles two pieces of paper, one top of the other.
  4. You can select from dozens of different text and title options, such as Assembling Line, Amplify Vertical, and Balloon. Drag your favorite onto the timeline over your clip.
  5. Extend the text or title to the desired length.
  6. Tap the clip to change the text. You can also manipulate the font style, size, color, transparency, and alignment. The versatility makes PowerDirector an ideal video editing tool for creating memes.
  7. Click the edit icon around the text in the frame. This feature lets you tilt the text. You can also use it to enlarge or shrink the video.

How to Export and Share Videos

  1. Open the PowerDirector video app.
  2. Find the project you want to export or share.
  3. Click “Produce Video.” This step allows you to save it to your gallery, Facebook, YouTube, or other social media platforms. You can also adjust the video resolution, edit the project title, and toggle the settings.
  4. Not sure of the best settings for your video? Select “More Output Options.” The simplified menu lets you decide between different frame rates and bitrates. That way, you don’t have to overthink exporting or sharing.
  5. Click “Next” to send your video to the desired location.

Understanding video editing basics will provide you with the sturdy foundation you need when creating video projects. Most of these techniques take only a few minutes to master, but you can carry them with you for a lifetime. Whether you’re making a side-by-side video or working on a large-scale film with green screen video editing, they are essential for successful video making.

YouTube Vlogging using iPhone or Android Device

If you’re new to editing, start with a manageable video project and work up to big and better things. For example, when making an intro to a vlog, the short yet high-impact clip requires basic editing techniques, which you can then jazz up with free video effects and sounds.

PowerDirector leads the field when it comes to intro-making mobile apps. These powerful platforms make it straightforward to create a captivating intro that hooks viewers. You can use one of these apps, regardless of your experience level, thanks to their intuitive layouts and interfaces.

How to Edit Videos With Effects on iPhone & Android

You can capture a video clip by pointing and shooting your camera. The image that appears on your phone should reflect the one you see in front of you. Video effects enable you to enhance that clip, making it more engaging visually.

Video effects comprise any computer-generated manipulation during post-production. For example, you may want to shift between scenes. Adding a wipe, fade, or dissolve can smooth out the transition between the two clips.

The best video effects will depend on your project. Adding a lens flare effect makes sense in a sci-fi thriller, but not for an ordinary office scene. Similarly, you might use slow motion to heighten the drama in a footrace, though it would feel unnecessary when applied to everyday dialogue.

PowerDirector, FXGuru, and GlitchCam are among the best visual effects apps for iPhone and Android. Even celebrities like Selena Gomez rely on them to shoot and produce big-budget music videos. The wide range of special effects on these apps ensures that your video has the precise look and feel you need.

How to Speed Up and Slow Down Videos

  1. Open PowerDirector.
  2. To speed up the clip, select video and click Speed”
  3. Adjust the slider bar up to speed the clip up and shorten the shot. The shorter the clip on the timeline, the faster it will go. Shrinking a 20-second video into 10 seconds means it will play twice as fast, making it useful for time-lapses.
  4. Adjust the slider bar down to slow the clip down and lengthen the shot. Changing your 20-second video into 40 seconds will halve the speed of the original video. Make sure you have a high enough frame rate (60 fps); otherwise, your clip will appear choppy.

How to Use Chroma Key and Green Screen Effects

Want to shoot a video in a different city or even an alien planet? Now you can, even if you don’t have a NASA-sized budget. Chroma keys and green screen effects allow you to remove backgrounds and replace them with something else. That way, you can shoot a movie about going to Mars without leaving Earth.

You do not have to shoot something on a green screen to use this effect, though we strongly recommend it. Part of the reason filmmakers use green is that it is not a common color in outfits or sets. That makes it easier for editors to remove the screen during post-production. You will also save yourself a lot of time and headaches by having a well-lit set so that the editing software can determine what should stay and what should go.

  1. Open PowerDirector.
  2. Click the “Layers” icon to reveal the different visual effects.
  3. Select the camera icon and then tap “Camera.”
  4. To use green screen effects, drag the clip on to your timeline with the desired background clip under it.
  5. After adjusting the clip, choose “Chroma Key.” Use the color picker tool to select the background. You can change the sensitivity based on the preferred amount of visual noise and the color’s range.
  6. PowerDirector will automatically remove the background after your selection. All you have to do is place the green screen clip on top of the desired background.
  1. Open PowerDirector.
  2. Place the video or object you want to edit on top of the background. You should see it move across the clip as you place the keyframes.
  3. To animate the video, select the keyframe editor. You have the option to remove any existing keyframe or duplicate the previous keyframe.
  4. Scroll to the beginning of the clip. Place the video or object in the desired location. You may need to adjust the size and tilt. Place a keyframe once it’s in the right spot.
  5. Repeat this process by moving the top layer and placing more keyframes. You can always go back and move or delete keyframes. You can stop animating when you reach the end of the clip.

How to Use Blending Modes on Videos

  1. Open PowerDirector.
  2. Place two video clips on your timeline, one on top of the other.
  3. Click the pencil tool and select “Blending.”
  4. To blend the clips, drag an effect onto the top clip. You can select from Overlay, Multiply, and Screen, among others.
  5. Adjust the settings to fine-tune the look. Toggle the brightness, contrast, and saturation until you achieve the right appearance.

How to Edit Videos with Masks

  1. Open PowerDirector.
  2. Place two video clips on your timeline, one on top of the other. Adjust the top layer as needed.
  3. Select “Mask” and choose from “Linear,” “Parallel,” “Ellipse,” “Rectangle,” and “Invert Mask.” For example, selecting “Rectangle” will hide everything outside the established rectangle on the top layer. You can resize the layer to show or hide more of the video.

We have only scratched the surface when it comes to video effects. These visual touches can take your productions to a new level, thanks to realistic animation and splashy transitions. Something as simple as speeding up or slowing down the video on an iPhone or Android can make all the difference in your productions.

Want to learn more about how to edit videos? We have you covered. Our comprehensive guide covers the techniques you need to know to become the next Christopher Nolan, Steve McQueen, or Ava DuVernay.

That includes:
  • Transitions
  • Video speed
  • Motion graphics and animation
  • Compositing
  • Color and light effects
  • Simulation effects

We also examine different approaches to turn your film from lackluster to blockbuster. For instance, a jump cut involves cutting forward or backward within a single shot. The effect lacks continuity, making it an ideal way to leave audiences feeling jarred or uncomfortable. You can also use it to condense time, portraying more information than you could with traditional editing techniques.

How to Edit Audio in Videos on iPhone and Android

Sound editing involves creating and recording sounds. Sound mixing occurs when you place those sound effects in your video and adjust the settings. While many first-time video makers overlook the importance of audio, it’s the glue that can make or break a video.

Audio falls into three primary categories: human voices, music, and sound effects. Human voices encompass any dialogue on screen. They provide context for a scene and tell the audience how to feel.

Music enhances scenes with or without dialogue. For instance, the iconic Rocky montage features boxer Rocky Balboa training for his next match with Bill Conti’s “Gonna Fly Now” playing in the background. Sound effects constitute noises from the environment, such as passing cars, birds chirping, feet shuffling, or a bouncing ball.

The best audio editing adds depth to the visual. Audio and video elements work in unison to inform audiences about what’s happening. Here are different ways you can apply audio editing to your next project.

How to Add Music & Sound Effects to Videos

  1. Open PowerDirector.
  2. Click the “Music” icon to view the library of free sound effects. That includes jazz, pop, rock, country music, and sound effects for various environments. Once you find the one you want, drag it into your timeline.
  3. You can apply multiple audio clips at once. For example, you might place a heavy rain sound underneath a country ballad. Adjust the volume for the appropriate mixing.

How to Easily Extract Audio from Video

  1. Open PowerDirector.
  2. Place your video in the timeline.
  3. If you want to extract audio from a video, search for the desired clip in your files. Place the video as an audio layer to remove the visual component.
  4. Click “Audio Configuration” to adjust the volume and fading settings. PowerDirector lets you raise or lower each track’s volume, so your extracted audio can stand out or blend into the background.

How to Record & Add Voiceover

  1. Open PowerDirector.
  2. Click the “Music” icon and select “Voice-Over.”
  3. Choose whether you want the voiceover to appear on the first or second audio track.
  4. Hit “Record” and perform the voiceover. Make sure to enunciate and avoid talking too close to the microphone. Don’t worry if you mess up. You can go back and remove errors later.
  5. If you like your voiceover recording, you can save it. PowerDirector also gives you the option to delete, replay, or retake it.

How to Edit Audio with Keyframes & Audio Mixing Tool

  1. Open PowerDirector.
  2. Tap the pencil tool from the sidebar. Click “Volume” and choose whether you want the audio to “Fade In” or “Fade Out.”
  3. PowerDirector will apply keyframes that slowly increase or decrease the volume on your selected audio track. You can add more keyframes if you want. PowerDirector has no limit for how many keyframes you can add.
  4. To mix the tracks, select “Audio Mixing” under the pencil tool icon. All of your tracks will appear on the left side of your screen. You can raise or lower them depending on how prominent you want a specific sound to be in the video.
Live Streaming on Social Media

Audio editing is a must-have ability for any aspiring video maker. Get the knowledge and skill you need with The Ultimate Guide to Audio for YouTube and Social Media. The guide provides an in-depth look at audio editing for people of all ability levels.

It teaches you how to record high-quality sounds and what types of microphones you should use while recording, ensuring you’re using the right tools and techniques when recording, adding, and mixing audio. Some of the other benefits include:
  • Creating more effective video
  • Placing emphasis when necessary
  • Matching visual cues
  • Cutting down on the need for re-recording

You don’t need to spend a lot of money to get great audio. The recording app on your phone is more than enough in the right environment. That way, you can save time and money when producing your next project.

The Benefits of Editing Videos on iPhone & Android

Mobile video editing makes it possible for anyone to create content, whether that’s a snazzy intro or a full-length movie. You have access to the same resources as desktop and laptop editors from the convenience of your mobile device. Its streamlined power and efficiency have made mobile editing increasingly popular in recent years.

The most substantial benefit of mobile editing is a smartphone’s all-in-one capability. All your video, audio, and editing software exist in the same place. You don’t have to rifle through zip drives or memory cards to find what you need.

Of course, mobile editing does have drawbacks, most notably the smaller screen size. While some of the best editing tools allow you to trim and split video on a frame-by-frame basis, they lack the precision that comes with desktop editing—making cuts with your fingers or a stylus may not feel as natural as a keyboard or mouse.

Smartphones also lack the storage capacity of their computer counterparts. If you want to edit a two-hour film, you’re better off using a desktop or laptop. However, if you plan on making a 30-second commercial, you should be fine editing videos on your Android or iPhone.

If you’re ready to become a YouTuber or an Oscar-winning director, we can help. CyberLink PowerDirector is a video editing app for Android and iOS. It’s loaded with features, ranging from visual effects to titles to fast rendering.

Get all the editing power you need in the palm of your hand. PowerDirector bridges the gap between amateur and professional video makers so that even newcomers can take advantage of professional-grade software. Discover the difference PowerDirector can make for your videos by checking it out today.

Mobile Video Editing FAQ

What is the best free video editor for my phone?

Check out our article Best Free Video Editing Apps for iPhone & Android in 2021 for a full overview of our top picks.

  1. PowerDirector
  2. iMovie
  3. Splice
  4. Quik
  5. Kinemaster

2. What features should I look for in a video editor for my phone?

  1. User-friendly
  2. Trim, join, and slice tools
  3. Text and titles
  4. Transitions
  5. Video effects
  6. Video stickers
  7. Color correction tools
  8. Audio tools
  9. Video templates
  10. Royalty-free stock libraries

3. Should I pay for a video editor for my phone?

This is dependent on your needs and what kind of edits you want to make. If you’re making simple adjustments like cropping, rotating or flipping a basic free editor should be fine.

If you want to take complete control over your videos and add video effects you’ll benefit from paying for a quality video editor. Some free editors offer advanced features like PowerDirector but it is an exception to the rule. Most are usually clunky and don’t provide the best results.

There is also a paid version of PowerDirector that includes an 8,000,000+ stock library, lots of extra creative assets and complete export control.

4. What is the best video editor for Windows?

Check out our article Best Video Editing Software for Windows PC in 2021 for a full overview of our top picks.

  1. PowerDirector 365
  2. Adobe Premiere Pro
  3. DaVinci Resolve
  4. Corel VideoStudio Ultimate
  5. Pinnacle Studio

5. What is the best video editor for Mac?

Check out our article Best Video Editing Software for Mac in 2021 for a full overview of our top picks.

  1. PowerDirector 365
  2. Adobe Premiere Pro
  3. Final Cut Pro
  4. DaVinci Resolve
  5. iMovie
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