How to Record Your iPad Screen
How Do They Do That?
YouTube is littered with tutorials and app reviews that show you how to do all manner of useful (and less useful) things on an iPad, but for many people the question of how to record your iPad screen remains unanswered. Thankfully, the process is relatively simple, and with a few quick tips you will be up and running in no time. Many of these methods involve connecting your iPad to a Mac or PC, but if you are interested in doing this solely on an iPad, I have an option for that too. So, let's get started!
Native Recording in iOS 11
If your device is capable of updating to iOS 11 this Fall, then you can take advantage of the built-in screen recording function that Apple has included for iPads and iPhones. However, it is not on by default so you need to enable it in Settings.
Screen recording in iOS 11 is activated via the Control Center so navigate to Settings > Control Center, and tap the green plus sign to add it to your Control Center icons. Once you have it turned on, swipe up from the bottom of your screen to access your Control Center and tap the Screen Recording icon to get started.
By default, the recording will not include audio, but if you press and hold on the screen recording icon you can choose to include audio with your recording. Once you are finished, stop the recording by going back into Control Center and tapping the same Screen Recording button. Completed videos are added to the Photos app where they can be edited or uploaded to other websites.
iOS 11 Screen Recording Demo
iPad & IPhone Screen Recording via AirPlay
In order to begin recording your iPad, there are a few things you have to get ready. Here's a rundown of what you need:
- An iPad (any version except the first generation iPad will work)
- A Mac or Windows PC
- Airplay mirroring software
- Screen recording software
- A microphone
In the directions that follow, I will look at each of these in turn and show you how they all interact to help you create a recording of your iPad screen.
AirPlay Mirroring Software for the iPad
Mirroring software is essential to creating a great iPad screencast. Think of it as the bridge between your iPad and your computer. It is the mirroring software that lets you send the image of your device to your computer so that you can record your iPad screen.
The software itself is relatively inexpensive, and although there are several varieties to choose from, they all basically do the same job. Reflector was the first to showcase this technology, but it was soon followed by AirServer and, more recently, X-Mirage and Mirroring360.
The table below will help you compare and contrast which one is best for you, but there is no reason why you can't take advantage of the free trial options that each solution offers in order to test out more than one.
Comparing AirPlay Options
Mac or PC
$14.99 (Discounts for Edu)
$16 (Discounts for Edu)
Mirror Multiple Devices
How to AirPlay an iPad to a Computer
Once, you have installed your mirroring software, it's time to get the image of your iPad onto your computer so that you can record it. This is done via a built-in iOS technology called AirPlay. Apple's AirPlay technology lets you broadcast video and audio signals from your iPad to another AirPlay-compatible device. The mirroring software you add to your Mac or PC turns it into the AirPlay device you need.
To connect to your computer over AirPlay, start by launching your mirroring software of choice and ensure that your iPad and the computer are on the same Wi-Fi network. (The devices will not "see" each other unless they are on the same Wi-Fi network.)
Next, bring up the Control Center on your iPad by putting a finger on the bottom edge of your iPad and swiping up to reveal the Control Center. Tap the AirPlay button, and look for the name of your computer among the list of devices. When you see it, tap on it, and slide the Mirroring switch to the right. Within a few seconds, you should see your iPad appear on your Mac or PC.
Recording Options for iPad Screencasts
Once your iPad is mirrored to your computer screen, you are ready to record your screencast. At this point, you have a number of options. For instance, AirServer, Reflector and X-Mirage all have built-in recording capabilities that you can use to record your iPad screen.
Alternatively, you can use dedicated screencasting software. There are free options like Jing, and Screencast-o-matic. Mac users can also use the free screencasting tool that is included with Quicktime. All of these are perfectly capable tools.
However, arguably the best option, if you can afford it, is TechSmith's Camtasia. It is available for Mac or PC and has become the industry standard for screencasting because of the flexibility and feature set it offers users.
Camtasia comes with a built-in video editor, it lets you zoom in and out of your screencast, add titles and annotations, trim or split your video, adjust your audio, and much, much more. They also have incredible customer support, and some awesome online tutorials that teach you how to use their software.
Recording iOS Devices in OS X Yosemite (or later)
To record your iPad screen on a Mac with QuickTime, you need to make sure that your computer's software is updated to macOS 10.10 or later. Once you have met those requirements, follow the steps below:
- Connect your iPad to your Mac via the USB charging cable.
- Open QuickTime and choose File > New Movie Recording.
- In the drop-down menu next to the record button, make sure you put a check mark next to your iPad under the Microphone and Camera menus.
- Now, click the red record button to begin recording your iPad screen.
- When you are done, hover your mouse over the iPad display and press the stop button.
- To complete the process, name and save your recording.
The whole process is very simple and easy to accomplish, and because QuickTime comes free with every Mac, there is no need to buy AirPlay software like Reflector or AirServer. You also don't need a Wi-Fi connection like you do with the AirPlay options above. Watch the video below for a demonstration of how simple this method is.
Video Demo of Screen Recording on a Mac
How to Record Your iPad Screen on an iPad
If you can't update to iOS 11 this Fall, or need a solution that will work before that date, then another option might be to simulate screen recording with an app. The video example below was created entirely on an iPad using an app that is completely legal and in compliance with all App Store guidelines. Take a look and see what you think.
Not bad, right? The screencast above was recorded in a free app called IPEVO Whiteboard. It's a whiteboard and screencasting app that allows you the ability to add images and record yourself while you talk about them. It even includes annotation tools that you can use while recording.
The video I created with IPEVO Whiteboard is really no more than a series of screenshots that I captured and imported into the app. Once I had my images sequenced the way I wanted, I tapped record and narrated over the top of them, moving from one slide to the other when I was ready to show the next step. I used the pointer tool (available in the app) to show where I was tapping on the screen.
It's not a perfect solution, but it looks pretty good and if you only have an iPad, then this could be all you need. Other apps that are capable of this kind of recording include ExplainEverything, Doceri and others.
How Do You Record Your iPad or iPhone Screen?
So, there are lots of options available. The native recording in iOS 11 is perhaps the easiest and most pain-free solution, but choice is a great thing and many of the other tools do double duty as presentation tools and more. So, what is your preferred method for recording your iPhone or iPad screen? Add your vote below!
Screen Recording Poll
What is your preferred method for screencasting on iOS?
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
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© 2014 Jonathan Wylie