When the iPad was first launched in 2010, many laughed at it. “It’s just a big iPhone,” they said.
Fast-forward seven years, and Apple’s market-leading tablet is capable of more than we could ever have predicted back then.
Most notably, its built-in camera and incredibly powerful processor have made both shooting high-quality video and editing it for either professional or personal use a reality. You need never head to another device – it can all be done from Apple’s ‘big iPhone’.
We’ve tried out a host of video editing apps for the iPad, and to help you find one (or two) that works for your needs, we’ve picked out our current top ten faves:
This list would be nothing if it didn’t mention Apple’s go-to video editing app. It’s been around for as long as we can remember and, over the years, has grown in stature considerably.
Predictably, Apple has done a rather fine job of taking the once Mac-only video editing suite and making it work for touch on a much smaller screen.
It isn’t quite as ‘pick-up-and-play’ as Apple might suggest (you’ll need to spend some time with it to get to grips), but once you get going, it’s fab.
If you just fancy making a Hollywood-style trailer, this app remains the best at giving you a template to do just that.
You know you’re in good hands when you pick up a mobile video editing app that is made by GoPro.
The action camera experts have – as you would expect – put together a fantastic platform for editing videos not just taken with their diminutive cameras, but from any source.
You can also import files stored elsewhere, including Dropbox, Google and Facebook. There’s a collection of tunes to accompany your masterpieces and the timeline editing is among the best we’ve seen on the iPad.
If you need to do some heavy-lifting with 4K footage, Vizzywig is a great way to undertake a variety of pro-grade video editing tasks on your trusty iPad.
This app is one of the few that allows multi-camera recording and clip importing, but also includes a host of pro features, such as smooth auto zoom, snapshots, shutter speed and focal distance control and slide overlay.
If you want to create something that’s ready for any sized screen – this is the app to get.
Another entrant on this list from GoPro, Quik is, as the name suggests, a super-fast way to create beautiful videos on your lap.
Simply import your footage, and let the software convert your various video files into a stunning, highly professional-looking montage.
There’s a wide range of themes to choose from (each with their own accompanying soundtrack) and you can share your creations easily on social networks.
As one of the most approachable iPad video editing apps on the market, Pinnacle Studio offers a user interface that makes mincemeat of editing, enhancing and sharing video content.
It doesn’t just excel at video, either – the audio content in Pinnacle is fantastic, but you can also bring in your own music and sound effects if you want to create something truly unique.
Tight integration with Box, Dropbox, OneDrive, YouTube and Video (to name but a few) completes a very comprehensive video editing app for the iPad.
Adopting a visual style quite unlike any other app in this list, Videorama makes video editing on the iPad a breeze.
What’s more, you can download an array of free-to-use photos and video content directly from Pixabay, potentially saving you huge amounts of time shooting stuff yourself or scouring the internet for inspiration.
There’s just one drawback – the watermark at the bottom-right of the videos (although that can be removed if you pay the entirely fair price for the full version of the app).
A slightly more light-hearted and stripped-back take on iPad video editing, Magisto is a free app that is popular among budding content creators on social media.
Pitched as being able to create movies that ‘feel like a living experience’, Magisto offers users a variety of editing styles to fit specific lifestyles, events and businesses.
Like some of the other apps in this list, Magisto is also capable of turning what might otherwise be mundane photos and videos into captivating, highly professional-looking movies with just a few taps of the screen.
8. VideoFX Live
If you’re a budding Hollywood movie director and fancy the ability to use your iPad to both shoot and edit mini movies that wouldn’t look out of place on the silver screen, VideoFX Live could be for you.
This free video recording and editing app offers one huge bonus over the others in our list: the ability to add real-time video effects to your footage.
Suitable for creating captivating content for blogs and social media, VideoFX Live also features thousands of effects that can be applied before, during or after filming.
Think ‘backwards’ clips, clones of the main star and both slow-mo and fast-forward, and you’re along the right lines.
If there’s one company that knows how to make brilliant video editing software, it’s Adobe.
Their Premiere Clip app for iPad is impressive for two reasons. Firstly, it’s free, and secondly, it provides pro-level control that was once consigned to their desktop software.
Gain access to your video’s highlights, shadows and exposure, and you’ll soon be correcting poorly-shot footage and making it look perfect for sharing with friends, colleagues or family.
This is another app that lets you automatically combine media files into a ready-made montage – a feature that one can easily get lost in, so easy it is to use and pleasing the results.
10. Video Editor
Everyone needs a simple video editor for the iPad; something you can quickly pick up whenever inspiration strikes and play with, without having to refer to a manual or remind yourself of what each control does.
Video Editor by Loi Nguyen Van offers simplicity in abundance, and markets itself as a quick way of adding music to videos and editing them for sharing on social networks.
Perhaps most importantly for the younger generations, you can also use this app to add emojis, text and stickers to videos in a way that is very similar to apps like Snapchat.
Editing is limited, but you really don’t expect any more from this app, so fun it is to use. You can change the speed of your video, add filters and change simple stuff such as brightness, but the end results are always pleasing.
There’s no such thing as the ‘best’ video editing app for iPad. In reality, a combination of the apps we’ve picked out above will likely work for you.
We’ve attempted to cover a broad cross-section of apps, from the professional to the couch-companions that help you while away rainy Sunday afternoons.
What’s more, some of them are free, which means you can download them now, have a play and move onto the next if your creative juices don’t start flowing.
Happy movie-making! There really is no platform quite like the iPad for this task.