How To Capture And Record An iPhone Or iPad Screen Video?

Updated: December 2015

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.

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.

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

About the Author: 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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5 February,2016
20 comments
Sarah
Sarah 5pts

Brilliant article, you are a life saver I needed just this information. Am currently using reflector now and find it great!

sylvainww
sylvainww 5pts

@Sarah Thanks Sarah! The post needs updating (we'll get to it soon!) but you can now also use Quick Time Player if you have Yosemite and a device on iOS 8.

Scott
Scott 5pts

Great article!! Wondering if any of these options allow you to record you voice along with recording the screen. (Without doing a voice over later)

Janus
Janus 5pts

Hi there. Love your work Do you know some kind of solution where a camera is mounted on the iphone to record both the screen and fingers?! I want to avoud having the camera lying on a table under a camera. I want the ability to move the iphone around while the recording is capturing the same area on the iPhone.

Luke
Luke 5pts

Hi, excellent article and potentially has the answers I've been after, BUT...does the digital AV adapter mean you can record audio too? The fact that you mention this specifically for Reflection but not the others suggests that it doesn't? Thanks very much, Luke

Trace
Trace 5pts

Good solid article. I'd love to use Reflection, sadly... when I downloaded it yesterday 9.14.12, I couldn't get it to work with Mountain Lion. Too bad. I tried to contact support, no luck. Can't even reinstall because there hyper-active anti-piracy thinks I'm going to magic rip them off. Too bad. Not willing to throw $15-$45 at something that is buggy. FYI... for those considering it. Don't bother till you confirm they have their stuff together with 10.8.

Matthew
Matthew 5pts

thanks for the reflection tip! i am using that now and love it!!

Alex
Alex 5pts

Hi Sylvain, Do you know of any app that will run in the background which shows your fingers gesturs or taps on the screen so that you can record that aswell using the mirror function? Thanks

Trackbacks

  1. Quora says:

    Is there an iPhone app that will record a mobile browsing session as a screencast?…

    Hi Tom, There are several different options to do a screencast from your iPhone/iPad. If you really want to do it from an app, there is display recorder. If your open to other solutions, I just finished a post on that here: http://www.apptamin.com/blog

  2. Quora says:

    What’s the best video screencast solution for iPad and iPhone apps?…

    Question is kinda old, but just in case someone is interested there are now several options : Display Recorder (jailbroken iPhone needed), iPhone simulator, Air TV/HDMI, Reflection App, etc. If you’re interested you can find more in the following blog…

  3. Quora says:

    How can i record my iPad screen as a video?…

    Probably too late but since I’m answering the iPhone/iPad screencast questions here is a link where I put all the solutions I know: http://www.apptamin.com/blog/capture-iphone-ipad-screen-video/

  4. Quora says:

    Is there an app or any way at all to create a screencast on an iPhone?…

    If you don’t want to jail break your iPhone the best solution is to mirror what’s on your device using the Reflection App for Mac, then record with a program like Jing/Screenr/Camtasia. There are other solutions for quality screencast but it might co…

  5. […] an iOS device if you're interested you can find out more in the following blog post I wrote on iPhone and iPad screencast. If you have things to add, don't hesitate to do so in the comments or here! __________________ […]

  6. […] done a wrap-up of all the ways (I know) to record an iOS device so if you're interested you can find out more on iOS device screencast here. Hope it helps! __________________ MyCityBefore Apps – Travel back in time ! The […]

  7. […] done a wrap-up of all the ways (I know) to record an iOS device so if you're interested you can find out more on iOS device screencast here. In short, there are several options: Display Recorder (jailbroken iPhone needed), iPhone […]

  8. […] done a wrap-up of all the ways (I know) to record an iOS device so if you're interested you can find out more on iOS device screencast here. In short, there are several options: Display Recorder (jailbroken iPhone needed), iPhone […]

  9. […] How To Capture And Record An iPhone Or iPad Screen Video? | Apptamin […]


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