How to capture video from an iOS device

Capturing motion from the iPad's screen, which is something that's been difficult to do in the past

Reader Andrew Lane is interested in the technique I used to capture video from my iPad's screen. He writes:

I just watched your video about configuring the kid-friendly iPad and noticed a couple of things. First, that you were able to capture movements on the iPad. Second, that the menu bar was blue. How did you do that and does the second have anything to do with the first?

You win this week's Most Observant Reader aware. Congratulations!

It's true, I did capture motion from the iPad's screen, which is something that's been difficult to do in the past. And yes, that blue bar is the very broad hint about how it's done.

Fire up your iPad 2, third-generation iPad, or iPhone 4S, expose the multi-tasking bar, swipe the bar to the right until your see the device's play controls, and tap on the AirPlay icon. Select an AirPlay device such as an Apple TV and then switch the Mirroring switch On. Swipe down to show the Home screen and you'll see that the menu bar has turned blue. This indicates that you've switched on mirroring.

You now need an application that turns your Mac into an AirPlay device--one that your iPad can mirror its display to. The application I use is the $15 AirServer. Just install and launch AirServer on your Mac, ensure that your Mac and iOS device are on the same network, and navigate your way to the AirPlay control in your device's multi-tasking bar. When you tap on it you should see the name of the Mac on which AirServer is installed. Tap it and the Mirroring switch will appear. Turn that switch on and your device is mirrored to your Mac. You can choose to view it full-screen or within a window. As with other AirPlay devices, it plays both video as well as audio from supported apps.

Once I had that set up I simply used a screen capture utility on the Mac to make my recording.

This is a tremendous step forward for people doing presentations and recording motion screen captures, but it's not perfect. The imperfection is that there's nothing that shows where you've tapped on the iOS device's screen, which makes it a little tough for those watching to follow along. In the case of the video you cited, I simply drew a yellow circle around objects I wanted to direct viewers' attention to, but a better solution would be a presentation mode on the device that projects a similar circle or dot that indicates screen taps. It's not an impossible task given that one of my favorite jailbreak apps, Ryan Petrich's DisplayOut, offers that very feature.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Christopher Breen

Macworld.com
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?