The new 12.9-inch iPad Pro is being positioned as a professional-level computing device, with features like the M1 chip, the super-bright Liquid Retina XDR display and the P3 wide colour gamut likely to make the tablet an appealing option for movie makers. But with no Final Cut Pro for iPad available (yet), what’s the best video editing app for the iPad Pro? Here are a few alternatives.
1. Adobe Premiere Rush
Adobe Premiere Rush (free or from $6) a month) is as polished and intuitive as you’d expect an Adobe app to be. It does a smart job of distilling the bigger Premiere Pro application to its most essential parts and transplanting them to your iPad, even if there are some compromises in terms of precision editing and customisation controls along the way.
The simple drag-and-drop interface makes moving videos, photos and audio into position very easy, and clips can be quickly trimmed, cropped, and panned as required. Most of the titles, graphics, transitions and audio effects require a monthly subscription, but you can try the app out for free to see if it suits you before parting with any money.
LumaFusion ($40) costs a significant amount up front, with the option of more purchases to add on top of that, but it’s perhaps the best app for getting a desktop-like video-editing interface on your iPad. You can stack up a maximum of 12 audio and video tracks, access advanced titles and transitions, and get your footage looking exactly the way you want.
From aspect ratios to frame rates, you get full control over every aspect of your projects. Throw in support for fast- and slow-motion sequencing, external displays, and 4K resolutions, and this has just about everything power users are going to need. There’s also a quick start interface to help beginners get to grips with the software.
iMovie (free) clearly isn’t going to compete with the most powerful video-editing apps on this list, but it has enough going for it to keep casual movie-makers happy. If you want to quickly throw together some pictures and video clips and get a finished product as quickly as possible, the more straightforward interface can actually be an advantage.
Basic support for cutting and combining clips is included, and you can drop in titles and background music as well as a variety of filters and effects — you just don’t get a whole lot of choice about what can be added and how it’s customised. As iMovie is available for free, it’s certainly worth starting here first to see if it has all of the functionality you need.
Quik (free or from $6 a month) is developed by GoPro, and as the name suggests, the emphasis is on getting something uploaded and shared quickly using an interface that mostly sticks to the basics. It’s the perfect video editor if you’re looking to add some flair and a professional touch to your footage without actually having to do much work.
The app can put together an automatic pick of cuts and music if you tell it which photos and videos you want to include, or you can take a more hands-on approach and pick elements like filters and audio yourself. There aren’t many advanced features here, but you can speed up and slow down segments of your footage to create a variety of effects.
5. Filmmaker Pro
Filmmaker Pro (free or from $9 a month) goes all the way from the basics like scene-trimming to more advanced features like chroma key support (layering videos on top of each other using techniques like green screen). If you want something that is easy to get started with but that can grow as your requirements do, then this might be the app for you.
You’ve got dozens of transitions and filters to pick from for enhancing your movie projects, and there’s also support for picture-in-picture effects and all kinds of video-grading adjustments too. It’s one of the best video-editing apps there is in terms of how many features you get, and they’re all cleverly optimised to be used on a touchscreen interface.
KineMaster (free or from $5 a month) tries to make video-editing as fun as possible, and mostly succeeds. This is an app to try if you really want your clips to stand out on social media, rather than something to use for your next serious short film. That said, it does have some advanced features to its name, like multi-layer and multi-track editing support.
The interface isn’t the most subtle or elegant that you’re ever going to come across, but we like the way that it keeps all the main tools you’re going to need within easy reach. You can speed up and slow down footage, trim and rearrange the scenes in your project, adjust volume levels, enhance photos and videos in multiple ways, and more.
PowerDirector (free or from $8 a month) is one of the most popular video editors on the App Store, and it’s not difficult to see why. It manages to blend advanced tools with a clean and approachable interface, so it’s suitable for a wide range of video projects, whether it’s a quick job combining a few clips or a more sophisticated and longer movie.
There are video templates you can make use of for your intros and outros, you’ve got a bunch of titles, overlays, and transitions to choose from and tweak, and you can export projects in 4K resolution, too. The app also offers chroma key (green screen) and advanced audio-editing features as well, if you really want to take your videos to the next level.