Screencasting – the process of recording your digital screen as you use it – is a great way to share what you are doing on your phone with the world.
You can use screencast videos to offer your friend some technical advice, to record demos of your new iOS app if you’re a developer, to post a review of a new app on YouTube or to show everyone how you beat the final boss on that particularly hard game you were playing.
There are several ways you can record screencast videos on your iPad or iPhone. In this article, we’ll show you three of the most efficient ones.
Screencasting Made Easy
Use the Reflector App
The easiest way to capture high-quality screencasts is through the Reflector app, available for Windows, Mac and Android devices. The Reflector app is essentially an AirPlay (and so wireless) receiver. It will cast anything you are doing on your phone onto your PC or Mac. Once the content on your phone’s screen is beamed onto your PC, you can use different software to record it.
There are several advantages to using the Reflector app. You don’t need wires to connect your iPad or iPhone to your PC, so you can move around freely while you screencast (this is particularly useful if you’re making a presentation or giving a lecture).
You don’t have to jailbreak your iPhone or iPad, which you need to do to download apps similar to Reflector. All you need to do is connect your iPad and/or iPhone to your home network, and make sure your PC is connected to it too.
Once you start the Reflector app, you will have to use a separate screencast utility, like we mentioned before, for your Mac or Windows PC for the actual recording part. We recommend CamStudio (open source and good) for Windows and Jing (free) for Mac. The only downside to this method is that you have to pay $12 for the Reflector App.
Use Your Digital Camera
The second method we recommend is easy, and it won’t cost you a dime (unless you don’t own a digital camera). Instead of using software to capture your phone’s screen, you can just use a digital camera for the task. All you need to do is place your iPad on a flat surface, mount a digital camera over it and hit the record button.
The advantage of this method is that you will be able to record gestures as you use your apps, an ability no screencasting apps currently support. To reduce background shadows, you can beam a light on your iPad or iPhone. Make sure the light isn’t too harsh. We recommend you place your iPhone or iPad on a white surface for maximum video clarity.
Take Screenshots and Stitch them together for a Quick Video
Sometimes you only need to record certain important steps for your screencast video, steps that can be explained with supportive captions at the bottom and audio narration in the background. In these cases, you can simply take screenshots of your screen (or app or whatever you’re using your phone for) at important times and stitch the screenshots together into a video.
To take a screenshot on your iPad or iPhone, just press the screen-lock button and the home button together at once. Your screen will flash once and you will hear a click sound (unless your phone is muted), indicating that your screen has been recorded. You will find your screenshots in your Photos app.
An advantage of using this method is that you don’t have to be perfect when you record your screencast. If you make mistakes, we mean, you won’t have to start over again. Simply take new screenshots when you’re repeating a particular step. To stitch together your photos into a video, you can use Windows’ native Movie Maker and Mac’s iMovie app.
At the moment, there is no direct screencast recording app to be found on the iTunes store, probably because of Apple’s strict policy on privacy and security.
However, if you happen to own a jailbroken Apple device, you can download the Display Recorder app to directly record your screencast on your iPhone itself. The app will, in addition to video, also record mic audio, though you may have to download a separate audio recording app to record system sounds.
Your other options include finding other apps on the Cydia store or getting a professional Video Capture card, which we don’t think you’ll really nee