I’m quite fussy about the video editing apps I recommend. There are so many of them in the app store or at Google Play but there aren’t many that I use in my smartphone video training.

For years the only free app I recommended was iMovie.

But now I would definitely add VN (Vlog Now) to that and I’d argue that it’s the best free video editor available for your smartphone.

Why VN is better than iMovie

iMovie was always a great app for beginners because the user interface was so intuitive and simple to use. I’d say VN falls into that category. It’s the perfect choice if you want to start creating videos for your business but are tentative about spending any money just yet.

It’s also a great choice for those who’ve edited on iMovie but are discovering some of the apps limitations. VN has many more advanced tools than Apple’s free app.

You can customise text for one thing which is a huge frustration in iMovie. You can also edit videos in different aspect ratios so you can use it to create square or portrait videos, something that you can’t do in iMovie.

And of course iMovie isn’t accessible to Android users where as VN is compatible with both iOS and Android devices. Finding an editor that everyone in the business can access means the whole team can get involved in the process of video creation.

Desktop Version

Don’t worry if you like editing on your desktop for big projects. VN has that covered too. You can download the desktop version for free and easily work on longer edits that are perhaps too involved for the small screen on your phone.

Unfortunately at the moment the desktop version is only available for Macs.

Editing in Layers

All the apps I recommend let you work with multiple layers. I don’t see the point in spending money on an app that doesn’t let you do this.

That’s because it’s what you do on any decent desktop editor and this feature means you can create strong storytelling videos for your business that incorporate interviews with visual cutaways laid over the top for a more engaging final edit.

Many videos in the app store don’t allow for this meaning you are limited to creating a visual montage with text and music to deliver your message.

If you learn how to edit on VN, you will be able to create any type of video you want.

Professional Editing Tools

Finally, if you download VN onto your phone you will be gaining access to a wide range of professional editing tools.

As well as the basic editing features such as the split tool, transitions, adding text, and adding music, VN has some really cool features I wouldn’t expect to find on a free app.

Most surprising is the fact you can work with keyframes which are an animation tool. Keyframes let you create custom animations such as moving a logo graphic around the screen or changing the size of an image from large to small over a set period of time.

In VN the keyframe feature extends to the speed tool. If you want to slow down or speed up a clip you can use the speed curves to ramp up or ramp down the speed at a set pace. This makes for some really stylish transitions and effects.