CapCut vs. iMovie

If you’re a digital creator who posts videos on social media, you’re likely on the lookout for the best video editing software. CapCut and iMovie are two of the most popular all-in-one mobile apps for editing videos on your smart phone. But what makes them popular for budding filmmakers, and what sets one mobile app apart from the other?

CapCut vs. iMovie

This article will try and settle the CapCut vs. iMovie debate once and for all.

Comparison – CapCut vs. iMovie

Here are the three main aspects that users look for in video editing app:

  1. User interface
  2. Features for video editing
  3. Performance

Although both CapCut and iMovie share many great functions such as a drag-and-drop editing, green screening, and the ability to be downloaded on iPhones and iPad, we did find some major differences between the two.

User Interface

Both CapCut and iMovie are beginner-friendly apps but they do have different lay-outs. CapCut has a timeline at the base of the screen that allows users to drag-and-drop clips into a timeline. iMovie is more complex, with two base timelines previews, split-screens, and advanced audio editing.

CapCut User Interface

The CapCut editing app was designed for users of Tik Tok who want to quickly edit and upload videos onto the platform. However, videos created with the CapCut editing solution can be uploaded to any social media app.


  • Easy for beginners to use
  • Drag-and-drop footage clip onto the app timeline
  • Tap and drag to add a filter
  • Tap and drag to add an effect
  • Tap and drag to add a transition
  • Built-in music library for adding music to videos
  • Text overlays add visual interest


  • Editing is limited to one single track
  • Video length is limited to 15 minutes
  • No video or laptop use

iMovie User Interface

The iMovie User interface was originally a desktop app that now has a mobile phone version. Originally, it was developed for both beginner and professional users.


  • Professional 3-pane interface
  • A side pane on the right shows a library of all your existing videos
  • A left pane shows your project
  • Thumbnails aid clip section
  • Drag-and-drop function
  • A Precision Editor expands your view of single frames
  • Creates movies from photos
  • Audio editing
  • Tap “T” to add text
  • Create split-screen videos
  • Templates for creating film trailers
  • An orange frame notes footage already used
  • Autocorrecting of lighting and color


  • Editing is limited to two tracks
  • More of a learning curve is required
  • Speed of uploading depends on your data plan
  • Free version offers limited storage space

Features for Video Editing

Bot CapCut and iMovie offer a comprehensive suite of video editing features that are the same tools and effects offered in professional desktop editing programs for video.

CapCut Video Editing

CapCut boasts a suite of features that are almost identical to what the pro desktop version of iMovie has to offer users.


  • Cropping clips
  • Trimming clips
  • Adjustment of brightness and saturation
  • Filters
  • Effects
  • Transitions
  • Add music
  • Add text
  • Add stock animations
  • Import sound effects
  • Green screen
  • Slow and fast motion
  • Picture-in-picture


  • Only edits videos up to 15 minutes in length
  • No motion tracking
  • No Multicam editing
  • No 3D editing
  • Does not support 360 VR Content

iMovie Video Editing

iMovie is a pioneering, established name brand when it comes to desktop video editing that offers a variety of standard features.


  • Cropping and trimming clips
  • Adjust Brightness and saturation
  • Filters
  • Effects
  • Transitions
  • Add music
  • Add text
  • Green screen
  • Slow and fast motion
  • Picture-in-picture


  • No multi-cam
  • No motion control
  • No 360-degree video editing
  • Videos can’t be shared to Facebook, only iTunes, YouTube or Vimeo
  • Doesn’t support tagging

CapCut vs. iMovie Performance

Both CapCut are equally high-rated mobile apps for editing movies. The biggest difference is that CapCut was specifically designed to be a mobile app and that iMovie is a desktop app with a mobile app version. The video editing app that you choose may well depend on the age of your device’s hardware, your data plan capability, or other software.

CapCut Performance

CapCut meets the expectations of users who want to quickly edit and upload a shorter video.


  • Works seamlessly with both IOS and Android phones
  • A single tap gets you to most tools and effects
  • Best suited for quick short videos
  • Fast to load
  • Offers 14 themes, including a Newscast format
  • Can create HD-quality videos
  • Shortcut option uses AI to edit Dubsmash-style videos
  • Light animations can highlight screen action
  • Autocaptioning feature
  • Manually set frame rate from 4k to 60 frames
  • Uploads to TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp
  • No ads in the free version


  • Works only as a mobile app, and isn’t available on desktop
  • CapCut limits your export options
  • The free version leaves CapCut branded watermarks on your video
  • No keyword tagging option
  • Collects and shares data about users including personal browser and diagnostic information

iMovie Performance

iMovie meets the expectations of users who want to upload longer videos with their own audio and great production values.


  • The numerous features create a professional result
  • Ability to create longer films
  • Ability to mix music with spoken audio
  • Easy voice-over recording
  • Color and tone matching for clips
  • Versatile chroma-keying tool
  • Offers freeze frame
  • Offers video merging
  • Scores of movie templates
  • Offers Magic Movie, which is a Storyboard function for making photos into movies
  • Export videos in different formats and quality levels
  • iMovie is installed for free on all Mac Products by default


  • Works best on the Mac desktop
  • Doesn’t work as well on older Mac devices
  • Won’t work on an Android phone
  • The full application appears crammed on a phone screen
  • App can be slow to load
  • Doesn’t support tagging
  • Collects and shares personal data including information about your location, browsing history, and health


What platforms are supported by CapCut and iMovie?

Both CapCut and iMovie are supported by iPhone and iPad. CapCut supports Android and iMovie supports Mac. Neither application is supported by Windows, Linux, Chromebook, On-Premise, or web-based editors. iMovie can be downloaded to a desktop Mac, whereas CapCut is limited to being a Smartphone download.

Which movie editing app offers a free version?

Both CapCut and iMovie offer a free trial version of their editing program. iMovie doesn’t offer a free version. CapCut offers a free version that can be upgraded to a paid version of the app.

Does either movie app offer training?

There are numerous YouTube videos and online articles created by third-party users about how to use either CapCut or iMovie. CapCut doesn’t offer in-app training but Apple offers learning documents on its website. However, both apps are beginner-friendly.

Which editing app has better customer support?

There is no 24/7 Live Support for either app. Both offer online support.

CapCut vs. iMovie Final Thoughts

Our comparison found that the two apps shared many good aspects, including a free trial and being compatible with iOS. The main difference is that iMovie works solely on iOS devices while CapCut works on both iOS and Android. However, CapCut is also the simpler option and designed specifically to work on mobile devices, whereas iMovie is the adaption of a desktop app for mobile phone use.

Have you ever used CapCut or iMovie? If so, which app worked best for you? Let us know in the comments section below.

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