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10 great smartphone apps to take your videos to the next level

The days of dealing with video in reel-to-reel and VHS formats are largely long gone. Today, smartphones can handle the job. And with lots of apps to help, you can do some pretty nifty stuff. Photo by Jeremy Bezanger courtesy of Unsplash.
The days of dealing with video in reel-to-reel and VHS formats are largely long gone. Today, smartphones can handle the job. And with lots of apps to help, you can do some pretty nifty stuff. Photo by Jeremy Bezanger courtesy of Unsplash.

With each new release of the latest smartphone, more and more people gain access to easy-to-use video resources. Google, Apple, Samsung and other brands offer 4K video cameras. Each smartphone is also a computer fully capable of editing videos in all sorts of delightful ways.  


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With that hardware has come a remarkable amount of software that provides everything from green screens to stop motion. 

These 10 apps will help you create compelling video without having to open a laptop or sit down at a desktop.

1. FiLMiC Pro and DoubleTake (iOS and Android) (14.99 and 3.99)

FiLMiC Pro made a splash with the release of DoubleTake, which allows simultaneous recording of multiple camera lenses on a single phone. This feature allows you to record an interview video with just a phone between the interviewer and the subject. You also can capture a great wide shot while also capturing a closeup.

For advanced users, pro-level app features also offer white balance, LUTs and RGB parade options for advanced users.

2. Split Video (iOS) and Video Splitter (Android) (Free)

Every social media platform seems to restrict the run time of video posts. This ranges from 30 seconds to two minutes or some other arbitrary duration. These two apps are your solution to avoiding unique edits for each post location. They take your video and chop it up into a series of correct-length videos that you can upload. They ease the process of posting to your story, timeline and anywhere else you plan to post.

3. Wondershare FilmoraGo (iOS and Android) (Free, paid upgrades)

Wondershare’s FilmoraGo is a video app that will grow with you. The free version has all the basic video-editing functionality you need to import clips, rearrange them and make transitions. If you buy a template or two, you can take your video editing to the next level without a lot more work.

4. Adobe Premiere Rush (iOS and Android) (Free)

The makers of Photoshop and Premiere, a high-end video editing app, have an app that takes some of the best features of pro apps and puts them into a package that anyone is able to use. It will, of course, let you import videos, make transitions and add audio. You also can remove noise in your audio or the reverb of an empty room by using Adobe’s industry-leading technology with the click of a checkbox. It also does basic color correction without you really having to know how that works.

5. PicPlayPost (iOS and Android) (Free, paid upgrades)

PicPlayPost is for fun. From GIFs to images to videos to making a fun video collage, it can take anything you throw at it. It has crazy effects and can even export your video as a GIF if you get the right upgrade. This is perfect for making a shareable clip after a day of taking pics and videos at VBS.

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6. VideoShow (iOS and Android) (Free, paid upgrades)

If you want to spice up the video of your pastor doing video announcements in front of a brick wall or you want to add crazy effects for your next children’s or youth announcements, VideoShow might be just what you are looking for. It is filled with stickers, lasers, flashing text and every other attention-grabbing feature. 

7. GoPro Quik (iOS and Android) (Free)

This is the go-to app for many GoPro users, but it can edit footage from any app. It is especially great for people looking to make a quick video from a bunch of clips. It can handle up to 75 clips in one project and its machine-learning algorithms automatically find the best parts of clips to put into videos. It is handy when you need to create a little content from a lot of footage quickly.

8. Chromavid (iOS and Android) (Free, paid upgrades)

If you need a quick and powerful green-screen app, Chromavid can help. You can record and replace your green screen with no frills or extra features getting in the way. Simply tap, do a green screen and go.

9. PowerDirector (iOS and Android) (Free, paid upgrades)

PowerDirector provides a full-function green screen. It allows for multiple layers, fine control over color, denoising and other features. A fully featured editor in its own right, it shines when it comes to green-screen functionality.

10. Stop Motion Studio Pro (iOS and Android) $4.99

You can video your children’s minister announcing VBS, but what if you could have a Lego version of him or her jumping off the mic on the lectern, sitting on the edge and announcing it? For that, all you need is your phone, a bit of time and Stop Motion Studio Pro. This powerful little app makes making stop-motion videos as simple and quick as possible. 

Jeremy Steele

Jeremy Steele is the associate pastor at Los Altos UMC in Los Altos, California, as well as a writer and speaker. You can find a list of all his books, articles and resources for churches, including his most recent book All the Best Questions, at his website: