How to record and display active demonstrations on your iPad screen

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With its large display, the iPad is a great demonstrative and teaching tool–especially in the classroom.  However, there may be times you find yourself trying to describe a procedure, or possibly where to locate a hidden iOS feature, and the person you need to share this information with is not in the same room.  Writing for a tech blog, I find this to be an invaluable tool that is rather easy to reproduce–and best of all, it’s free, too!

Start by connecting your Lightning / USB cable to your iPad or iPhone.  Unfortunately this procedure will not work with older devices that utilize the 30-pin dock connector.  In addition, your Mac needs to be running Yosemite (10.10) or El Capitan (10.11).  Now  launch QuickTime Player, and choose File–> New Movie Recording.  QuickTime will open with the default iSight Camera active.


You have several options to choose from at this point.  First you need to select the camera of your choice that is connected to your computer with a Lightning connector.  Now you can can choose form available microphones, and the quality of the video that is to be recorded.  After you select your device from the menu, everything you see on your iPad or iPhone is mirrored onto the screen in QuickTime.


When you are ready to record the screen of your device, select the red record button. When you first choose your device the movie recording controls will disappear.  To view them, and start recording, hover your cursor over the mirrored screen and they will reappear. After you have finished recording select the stop button.  You can now watch your movie or choose from one of many sharing options.

One thing to note–the movie will record based on the orientation of your device.  If you start recording in portrait mode, than that’s how the movie will be recorded.  The same goes for landscape mode. If you quit QuickTime without saving/sharing your changes you will now be prompted with that opportunity. If you are so inclined, you can also create an animated GIF version of the screen capture.  To do this you will have to export the screencast and run through your favorite GIF generator.


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