How to Capture Mobile App Screens for Videos and Webinars
There is an easier lower cost way to capture mobile app screens and that is to use AirServer. It’s very low cost and works on any IOS (Apple) device. You have to load AirServer on your IOS device and on your Mac or PC. What you see on your iPhone or iPad for example will be reflected over to your PC or Mac computer. It’s very responsive.
To capture the mobile app screen with audio use QuickTime. Under the File menu you’ll see New Screen Recording. This is an easier way to capture mobile apps in real time. The quality is very good though it’s not as razor sharp as I discuss below in this blog article. But considering how much easier it is to set up and lower in cost I think it’s the good choice for my people needing a quick solution to capture moible app screens for a video.
As a side note if you’ve every wanted to capture a live WebinarToGo, Skype or Google Hangout type web video presentation then use Quicktime if you’re on a Mac. It’s free, it’s simple to use and well it just WORKS. Yes I know there is ScreenFlow and Camtasia and ISHOWHD and so forth. They are fine but if all you want to do is capture something to watch later or drop into your NLE for editing then just use Quicktime. You can capture full screen or select any portion of the screen and it will capture the audio in H264.
A couple of years ago I built a special rig in the studio to figure out the best way to capture HDMI video from iPhones and iPads, Android, Windows Mobile devices, and so forth. I received a steady flow of requests to capture mobile app screens for “How To”-type videos, marketing presentations and online webinars. There are many different ways to approach this, including the simple one of using a screengrab software package. However, the way I configured this rig retrieves the cleanest, sharpest image possible, directly from the hardware. You want the best resolution possible, so everything is clearly visible in a small marketing video.
The gear I use for this is:
Gefen HDMI Detective – to trick the HDMI output from the mobile device so it can be recorded.
UltraStudio 3D - Thunderbolt interface to iMac. This devices takes the HDMI out from the Gefen and makes it available for recording.
Blackmagic Media Express software - provided with the UltraStudio 3D to record the video to a file.
Here are example clips from iPhone 4s, 5, iPad Mini and iPad 2. You’ll notice the iPad Mini and iPad 2 appear exactly the same in horizontal mode in these clips. I’m curious about that.
Many solutions for capturing HDMI video are cheaper than the UltraStudio 3D. Keep in mind I use UltraStudio in a video production studio, so I’m using gear we already have in place. The Gefen HDMI Detective was the only new item, and it cost around $129.
Bottom line: Any device that has HDMI output can be captured by this setup, including iPhones, iPads, Android devices or home theater electronics; however, one must be respectful of copyrighted media.
We have noticed people want to capture video from mobile devices for a variety of creative marketing reasons. Some want to capture how a mobile app works in a video summary. Marketing and salespeople want short video clips of a specific mobile app function for PowerPoint presentations and especially for demoing purposes during an online webinar. For example, if there is a new release of a mobile app, a marketing person may want 5 very short video captures of the 5 new features that have been added to the new release.
If you need help recording video from mobile devices, let me know. It’s $195 for the first hour to set up, install and record as much as possible in that hour. Typically, that’s enough. We can install developer-only apps versus downloads from iTunes; however, developer versions can take longer to get going, due to bugs. The cost is $75 per additional hour of time.
I’ll capture the file in Apple ProRes and convert to H.264 or any other format you need, then make it available for download on DropBox. Turn-around time is typically 48-72 hours, depending on the complexity of the project. We can do rushes, time permitting. We have ongoing monthly plans, too, for those who want to just set up an account and draw against it when needed.
Keep in mind that LaughingCardinal.com also produces narratives for commercials and Internet ads. I encourage you to contact us with any needs you have to write and produce media for your marketing campaigns.
Hope you find this helpful. Just drop me a note if you have any questions at all. Many of the clients use the videos clips for internal use only. I’ll post a few of the public views using the clips in short narrative next week.
All the best,