Recently I wanted to create a video demo of my iPad apps. So I thought, I would just walk-through the apps and capture the screen on my iPad. It turns out that its not as simple as I thought it would be. While the desktops have a ton of screen-casting software, iPad simply lacks any of these sophisticated software.
When I googled for screen-casting apps on iPhone/iPad, I found a huge number of apps, but all of them are mostly whiteboard apps, that let’s you capture the screen inside their app (more useful for teachers.)
Searching some more, helped me find a few viable options:
- Create a Screencast Video using Screenshot Images – Extremely painful. I’ve done this approach in the past. I would take these images, add it to a Keynote presentation, add a few animations/transition effects and then export the presentation as a video.
- Use an iOS Simulator with a Desktop Screen-capture tool – The most widely used and probably the first approach to creating demos was using the iPhone/iPad simulator on your Mac, while recording your Mac screen with QuickTime. Sound Stage looks like a cool app for recording your screen and adding some nice mojo to it.
- Use Display Recorder Utility to Capture on screen activity on your iPhone /iPad Screen – This app was removed from the app store, so the only way you can get this app is to install it via Cydia, which requires your device to be jail-broken.
- Use a Video Capture Card – Using a HDMI Adapter, connect the output of your iOS device to a video capture card.
- Use camera mounts for usability testing of mobile devices – This approach is great for usibility testing where you want to see the hand-gestures and facial expression of the user, but in our case this might be an overkill. BTW I really like Mr. Tappy, a kit for filming mobile devices. Originally designed as a filming rig for iPad usability testing, Mr Tappy lets you capture or share user interaction with mobile devices during user experience research, product demonstrations or classroom presentations.
- Mirror the iPhone/iPad screen via AirPlay and record it – This seemed like the easiest option for me. There are a couple of apps (Reflector, AirServer) available, which you need to install on your desktop. Once installed, you can go to your iOS device and start mirroring the screen on to your desktop. Not only does it mirror the screen, but it also uses the desktop to actually play the sound. And all of this over a wireless network. Once the iOS device’s screen is on your desktop, you can use QuickTime to easily capture the video.
Once I recorded by screen-cast using AirServer and QuickTime, then I used iMovie to do some minor editing and adding some annotations to the video. That’s it. I recorded the following 2 videos if you want to have a look.