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Editing video on a smartphone

These apps are ideal for newcomers to mobile journalism. They are ideal for producing social videos and learning the fundamentals of professional video editing.


VN is a free multi-track video editing app for iPhone and Androids. It is simple enough for beginners to master, with robust features for professionals. You can create fully-edited videos, with a voiceover, captions and a logo, import music, use speed-ramping and keyframing, adjust bitrates, create templates, and work in square, portrait or landscape formats. It is completely free, and there is no watermark.

VN is also available for Mac and Windows, and iPhone users can transfer a project from the phone to a Mac. iPhone and Android users can also share projects between their devices. The developer’s YouTube channel is packed with simple tutorials that are regularly updated.

Here is a tutorial to get you started.


GoPro Quik is a simple app for creating social media videos and works on both Androids and iPhones. It can produce quite sophisticated video stories, using preset themes. You can add captions and royalty-free music, and transitions are timed to the beat of your chosen track. You can also access your own music via cloud servers such as Dropbox and Google Drive. The app moved to a freemium subscription model in 2021. 

You can also add a voiceover to a Quik video if you import it via ‘My Music’. And you can save your video in square, landscape or portrait aspect ratios.

The full user guide is here.

Here’s a Quik example shot by our manual’s contributors Chow How Ban and Thasong Asvasena inside a Thai temple during a traditional hammer massage. 

iMovie (iOS)

If you own an iPhone, iMovie is one of the most popular apps for creating simple videos. It lacks some functions of professional apps, but for quick, simple edits, it is excellent. Note: iMovie exports files at 30fps, so it is not suitable for television journalists in PAL countries. Watch the following tutorial to understand all its functions.

This video by our Manual contributor Sara Pacia is an example of what you can achieve with iMovie.

While the titles are limited in iMovie, and captions aren’t available, you can add these later in a different app – like VN.

Other apps

VN, GoPro Quik and iMovie are great apps to get you started. They’re all free, and both VN and GoPro Quik work on iOS and Android. But there are lots of other apps to explore – many of which are also free or inexpensive – to give exactly the look you need for your video.

Try these out and see what you think!

iOS / Android: Vlogit (iOS / Android), FilmoraGo (iOS / Android), VideoShop (iOS / Android), CuteCut (iOS /Android), InShot (iOS / Android).

iOS only: Apple ClipsVideoLeap.


In this simple editing section of the Manual, we’ve touched on just a handful of apps. There’s more information and a download link for every app in our ‘Mojo Manual – All the Apps‘ section.

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