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How to Create Screencast Demos of iPad Apps

screencastomatic Last week after publishing A Short Guide to Sharing Media Through Google Drive for iPad I had a few people ask me how I created the video. I use two tools to create video demonstrations of iPad apps. First, to mirror my iPad’s screen to my MacBook I use either Reflector which costs $12.99 or AirServer which costs $14.99 (I have both installed because sometimes I’ll visit a school where one system is allowed and the other isn’t).  Second, I use Screencast-O-Matic to record what is being displayed on my MacBook’s screen. Screencast-O-Matic is available in a free version and in a pro version. I pay $15 per year for the pro version. The pro version of Screencast-O-Matic gives me unlimited recording time, records in HD, removes the SOM watermark, offers multiple publishing and sharing options, and offers some handy editing options.

The process of recording the screencast video.

1. Install Reflector or AirServer on your Mac or PC.

2. Make sure your iPad and your Mac or PC are on the same wi-fi network.

3. Turn on Reflector / AirServer on your Mac or PC. Double-click or four-finger swipe upwards to open the bottom tray on your iPad, choose mirroring, then select the name of your computer that has Reflector / AirServer  installed on it. (If you’re trying this in a school you may encounter some filtering issues that prevent mirroring your iPad to your computer. Contact your network admin if you cannot get your iPad mirrored to your computer on the network).

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4. Now that you have your iPad mirrored to your computer open Screencast-O-Matic and click record. Before your recording starts you can crop the capture area to include only your iPad’s screen. Screencast-O-Matic will capture everything that you’re doing on your iPad and it will capture your voice.

5. Optional: If you want to highlight the parts of an app that you’re clicking on in your screencast video, move your mouse cursor on your computer screen to place a yellow circle around part that you are going to tap on the app. Move the mouse cursor before tapping on the app. This adds an extra step, but having the yellow circle makes it easier for viewers to follow your instructions. See my video here for an example of this.

Update: I have had a lot of people ask why I don’t just use the recording tool built into AirServer. The short answer is that I found recording glitchy on AirServer and I like the highlighting and editing options offered through Screencast-o-matic’s pro version.  

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