How to edit videos on your iPhone or iPad

The newest generations of iPhone and iPad include high-quality cameras powerful enough to deliver video editing capabilities. You can use your iPhone or iPad to edit your videos before sharing them with friends and family or on social media.

Editing a video can seem intimidating if you’ve never done it before, but the iOS Photos app includes video editing tools that make this process simple and accessible. Photos comes with convenient video editing tools you can use to trim, crop, flip, or rotate your videos, among other functionalities. Mastering the different editing tools that come with your iPhone or iPad will help you explore new possibilities with your videos. The process is the same whether you’re using iOS 13 or the newly released iOS 14. Here’s how to get started.

How to trim video

The first thing to do when editing video is to cut it down to a reasonable size and trim off parts that you do not want in the final movie. The iOS trimmer is bare-bones, in that you can only trim from the beginning or end, unlike some dedicated video apps that let you cut and splice frames from anywhere in the sequence. However, for a quick video, the trimmer is very easy to use and can be accessed via the Photos app in Edit mode.

  • Choose a video from your Photos app.
  • Tap Edit at the top right of the screen.
  • In edit mode, tap the camera icon at the bottom to access the trimming tool.
  • Tap and hold the left or right side of the timeline to view the yellow trimmer and its anchors.
  • Drag the anchors left or right to trim from the beginning or end of the movie.
  • Tap the sound icon at the top left to switch the sound on or off.
  • Choose either Save Video or Save Video as New Clip.
  • Tap Done on the bottom of the window (iOS 13) or at the bottom right of the window (iOS 14).

How to crop, straighten, flip, and rotate

You can make numerous adjustments, including cropping the video to zero in on your subject. You can also straighten the landscape, rotate the video, and fix both horizontal and vertical alignment. At the top of the screen, a Flip and a Rotate tool are also available. Say you’ve shot a vertical video that you’d prefer to view in a more traditional landscape orientation — you can rotate it and adjust the alignment accordingly. The straighten circle is the first one in the sequence, and probably the one you’ll use most. Horizontal and Vertical alignment are also available in case you need to adjust the orientation or angle.

  • Within your chosen video, tap Edit at the top right of the screen.
  • Tap the crop icon.
  • To crop, just grab a corner and adjust the view any way you want by moving your finger.
  • With your finger, choose Straighten, Horizontal, or Vertical to properly align your video.
  • Move your finger left or right to resize in real time.
  • Choose the flip icon at the top left to flip your video, if needed.
  • Select the rotate icon at the top left to rotate your video, if needed.
  • Tap Done.

The Crop tool also lets you change the video’s aspect ratio to some preconfigured sizes, including Square, 16:9, 5:7, 3:4, 2:3, or freeform. The tool, at the upper right of the screen, is highlighted in yellow when selected.

How to apply adjustments

iOS offers a thorough video editing outfit in the Photos app that you can explore by clicking on the adjustment tools option. You will find that editing your videos employs many of the same adjustments as editing your photos. You get controls for exposure, highlights, shadows, contrast, brightness, black point, saturation, vibrancy, warmth, tint, sharpness definition, noise reduction, and vignette. You can customize each adjustment with the bottom dial.

  • Tap the Adjustment icon.
  • Choose the tool you need.
  • Scroll left and right to select the intensity of the effect.
  • Tap Done.

How to use filters

The Filters tool is the third option in the row of icons along the bottom of the iPhone’s editing interface or on the iPad’s left-hand side of the canvas. This offers you several pleasing Instagram-like filters to apply to your videos, such as Vivid (warm and cool), Dramatic (warm and cool), Mono, Silvertone, and Noir. Furthermore, each filter has a range of intensity that you can choose to scale up or down to give your video the precise color scheme you’re looking for. While this tool is great for some videos that may need a dramatic or more understated color scheme to live up to its full potential, some videos are perfectly fine without using this feature at all.

Bottom line

If you are familiar with editing photos on the iPhone or iPad, getting started with either the iOS 13 or iOS 14 native video editor will be a breeze. While the built-in device does not offer the extensive capabilities of more advanced standalone apps, it gives you plenty of controls for the most important adjustments you’ll need to make your videos look stylish and engaging.

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