How to Capture and Record an iPhone or iPad Screen Video?

Updated: January 2016

Since 2012, things have changed quite a lot when it comes to recording your iPhone or iPad screens.

The most known option at the time to record a video of what was on your iOS device’s screen was to use the simulator on your Mac. Because video is being used more and more to present an app (whether it’s for an App Preview, a promo video or a video ad), Apple an other companies have made it much simpler for us.

Let’s take a look at your options.

QuickTime Player

 

This option was introduced with iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite, and is what we recommend to record iPhone screen or iPad screen. All your need is:

  • An iOS device running iOS 8 or later
  • A Mac running OS X Yosemite or later
  • Lightning cable (the cable that comes with iOS devices)

No need for jailbreak, a third party app or additional hardware.

Here are the steps to do it:

  1. Connect your iPhone or iPad to your Mac via the lightning cable
  2. Open QuickTime player
  3. Click File then select ‘New Movie Recording’
    Quicktime new movie
  4. A recording window will appear (with you in it, most likely). Click the little arrow of the drop down menu in front of the record button, then select your iPhone or iPad
    select iphone to record iphone screen
  5. Select the Mic of your iPhone if you want to record music/sound effects
    record iphone sound
  6. Click the Record button. Now perform the tasks on your iOS device that you want to record
  7. Once done tap the stop button and save the video.

Quick tip: by hitting Cmd + T you’ll be able to directly trim your video before saving it, so you only keep the relevant part of the recording.

ScreenFlow

ScreenFlow provides a similar way to record your iOS device, like QuickTime does. The bonus is that you can also edit the video within ScreenFlow, instead of having to open another program, like iMovie.

Sometimes, ScreenFlow is also better at capturing video, where QuickTime can be choppy. Since QuickTime is free, you should try that first.

But if that doesn’t work to well, then give ScreenFlow a try.

To get started, simply plug in your iOS device to your Mac with a Lighting cable and open ScreenFlow. It will automatically detect your device and give you the option to record that screen.

Start recording with ScreenFlow

 

Make sure that the Record Screen from box is checked and the right device is selected. If you want to record the audio too, check the Record Audio from box and make sure that the right device is selected.

Then hit the record button and start doing your app demo. Once you are done recording, ScreenFlow will open the editing screen.

Easy right?

Elgato

Before Apple made it simple to record your iOS device with the QuickTime player, at Apptamin we used one of the Elgato game capture devices which was mostly known to gamers.

Here was the full setup:

Check out the video below for more information.

Reflector

We also used the Reflector app at the very beginning, and still use it for specific videos when shooting live.

reflector app

Reflector 2 currently costs $14.99 and let’s you mirror what’s happening on your iOS or Android device screen on the computer, using AirPlay mirroring or Google Cast . There are Mac and Windows versions.

What’s great about Reflector is that it does not require any cable: just your iPhone (or iPad) and a computer.

Capture iPhone screen with reflector

Reflector can record your iPhone screen at up to 60fps, lets you include device frames when recording and record multiple devices at the same time. However, it is not possible to record with a resolution as high as you can do with QuickTime player (1080 x 1920 with an iPhone 6 Plus for example).

Record Directly From Your iPhone or iPad

If you jailbreak your iPhone or your iPad, you’ll be able to record your screen without any cable or computer by using the Display Recorder app ($4.99) on Cydia. Even if your device runs iOS 9 (I’m assuming they’ll keep updating the app).

Several options allow you to define the video/audio format (cannot record system audio), the framerate (on a scale, you can’t actually choose which framerate you’re using) , whether to show “taps” (a circle that highlights where the taps are done) or if the phone is used in portrait or landscape mode.

Here is more information.

On older versions of iOS it seems that this could be done with the Shou app as well.

Conclusion

So that’s how it’s done. Choose the method that works best for you and fits your budget.

Now that you know how to record your iOS device, what content should you include in your videos? Our video marketing guidewill give you some tips.

 

We look forward to seeing your videos!

 

What is your favorite way of doing an iPhone or iPad screencast?

 

31 March,2016

 

Sylvain Gauchet

Hi there, I'm Sylvain and I've been working for several years on marketing mobile apps. With Apptamin we believe that we can help developers better promote their apps by creating cool app videos and sharing what we've learned...while learning more!

I'm French and English is not my primary language, so you're welcome to correct me if I make a mistake.

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