Note: some apps are free, others require a one-off payment, or an ongoing subscription. Read the information about ‘in-app purchases’ carefully in the iTunes or Google Play stores before choosing an app for yourself or your newsroom.
Snapseed (iOS / Android): A free professional photo editing app owned by Google with a tremendous range of options, filters and effects, including text for adding captions and photographer’s details. Tips for using it are here.
ProShot (iOS / Android): This photography app provides Auto, Program, Manual, and two fully configurable custom modes, giving you a high level of control of exposure, ISO, shutter speed and white balance. You can shoot in jpeg and RAW, and film 4K and time-lapse videos. Here is a complete list of all features and an online tutorial.
Filmic Pro (iOS / Android): The most advanced app for filming video on a smartphone, with full control over focus, exposure, white balance and audio levels. You can also film in LOG mode, and choose which microphone on your phone is being used to record sound. The app’s YouTube channel is packed with tutorials by the app’s developer and user community.
Cinema FV-5 (Android only): This app gives you control over focus, exposure, ISO, white balance and other core filming functions.
Multi-track video editing
LumaFusion (iOS only): The most advanced video editing app currently available, designed to mimic most of the functions of professional desktop editors including multi-track editing, key-framing, colour adjustment, and support for branded fonts and graphics. Export at multiple frame-rates makes it suited to PAL and NTSC countries for television journalism. The app developers have a wide range of tutorials on their YouTube channel and there’s also a 200-page text guide.
KineMaster (iOS / Android): Most advanced multi-track video editing app for Android phones. Supports audio editing, addition of captions, titles and logo, and export at 25fps and 30fps, making it suitable for television journalism in both NTSC and PAL countries. To remove the watermark and access a wide range of special effects and custom transitions requires a subscription payment. The app developers have an up-to-date range of tutorials on their website and YouTube channel.
PowerDirector (Android only): Reliable alternative to KineMaster on Android phones. The app can be used for free, but to remove the watermark and access professional features including custom transitions and the ability to export in HD and above, you will need to purchase a subscription. The app developers have an up-to-date range of tutorials on their YouTube channel.
Alight Motion (Android): A full-featured motion graphics app for Android phones. An iOS version is in beta and will be available in early 2020. Further information about the app is available on the Alight Creative website, and tutorials are available on the app developer’s YouTube channel.
iMovie (iOS only): A free video editing app for iPhones which integrates with the more powerful desktop version of iMovie for Mac. The app had an update in 2019 to support green-screen editing. Exports at 30fps only. There are tutorial’s on Apple’s iMovie website, and here is a tutorial for iMovie.
Simple social video editing apps
Quik (iOS / Android): Quik is a simple yet powerful app for editing videos for social platforms and websites. It offers square, portrait and landscape settings, a wide range of royalty-free music, and the ability to add titles and captions. Here is the app developer’s YouTube channel of tutorials. There is also a text-based user guide.
Animoto (iOS / Android): You can add photos or video clips from your Camera Roll, iCloud, or Facebook account, select a preset video style, choose a song from the built-in music library or upload your own, add captions and text slides. Easy and quick. Free app, but also available with more features as subscription model. Tutorials are available on the app developer’s YouTube channel.
Apple Clips (iOS): This superb app from Apple offers pre-made title cards, fun filters, speech-to-text captions and many more features for producing elegant social videos quickly. Watch here a tutorial for Clips.
Splice (iOS): A surprisingly powerful app with moderate multi-track features, including the ability to add a voiceover, music and basic titles. The app received an update in 2019, and there’s a tutorial here with all the latest features.
Enlight VideoLeap (iOS): This app offers a wide range of high-end functions for creating videos from images, video and text. These include masking and blending, key framing and chroma key compositing. Tutorials are available on the app developer’s YouTube channel.
Movie Maker (Android): A simple editing app for Android phones, with the ability to add captions.
Vlogit (iOS / Android): A great free app for editing two-track video, plus voiceover. The app does not offer 25fps, but if you film at 25fps this is preserved when editing. For HD export, you will need t0 set up an account.
Adding titles, captions and logos
Vont (iOS): Owned by the same app developers as Phonto, Vont is an iOS-only app for adding titles and captions to videos. It allows you to import branded fonts and has a great cropping tool to turn landscape videos into square versions, with a branded-colour background.
DIY Subtitle (iOS): A simple, low-cost iOS app that allows you to add captions, a logo and artwork to your videos.
Movie Maker (Android): A useful app for adding logos and captions to a video on Android phones. It’s also a simple video editing app.
Autocap (Android): An automatic speech-recognition app that will caption videos in landscape, square and portrait on Android phones. You talk to the app, it transcribes your voice – and you can edit before posting.
RecForge Lite (Android only): An excellent audio recording app that saves high-quality WAV files. The app also offers basic editing. Here is a tutorial for recording in the app, and another for editing.
Voice Record Pro (iOS / Android): A powerful audio recording app that saves high quality WAV files and offers basic trimming tools. The iOS version of the app offers more features (including Wifi transfer and an automatic transcription tool) than the Android version. Here is a short tutorial for using the app.
AudioEvolution Mobile Studio (Android): The closest Android equivalent of Ferrite, although it is aimed more at musicians than journalists. An IOS version is now available, and a playlist of tutorials is available on the developer’s YouTube channel.
Google Street View (iOS / Android): A perfect starter into 360° photos. The free app allows you not only to search and view 360° photography but to record your own 360° photos. These can be shared or embedded into websites.
Adobe Spark Post (iOS/ Android): Adds text and applies design filters to your photos and creates graphics to share on social platforms. In 2019 the app got an update that allows you to add animated text and graphics to your videos as well. Watch here a tutorial for Adobe Spark Post.
TypeArt (iOS): Excellent alternative to Adobe Spark Post. Creates animated text and effects.
Animated Text (Android): This app is a fast, low-cost tool for adding animated text to photos and videos.
Mojo (iOS): A superb but relatively expensive app for creating vertical stories for Facebook Stories, Instagram Stories and Snapchat. The app offers a wide range of customisable templates and fonts, and the ability to add a logo.
Storyluxe (iOS): An app for creating engaging images for Instagram Stories. While the app does offer in-app purchases, the range of options for free is excellent.
Even more apps!
If you’re keen to try out more apps, we recommend exploring this huge iOS app list from Glen Mulcahy, or this iOS app list from Matthias Suessen, or this great selection of Android apps from Bernhard Lill.