With the release of iOS 11, iPhone and iPad users finally can record video of their screens. But, if you're like me, your first thought might have been, "Why would I want to?" So, I gave it a little thought and came up with six quick, but good reasons to record your iPhone screen or iPad screen.
1. Demonstrate a process
We all have friends or family members who just can't remember how to do something on their smartphone. The next time I get a call from my mother wanting me to remind her how to post a video to Instagram, I won't talk her through it, I'll record myself doing it and then send her the video. Then, the next time she forgets, she can just refer to the video. Unless, that is, she forgets I sent her the video.
Of course, this doesn't only work for technologically challenged friends and family. You can use this same functionality to help a customer who has contacted your support team with a software question, a colleague looking to relearn or learn a new process, and a lot more.
2. Record an error or software bug
This is the perfect example of show, don't tell. Sometimes when I encounter an error or bug in the app I'm using, I struggle to describe exactly what I was doing when it happened. Now I don't have to. Instead, I can record a video of what I'm doing when the error occurs and share it with the app creator to help them better identify what's happening.
This is also helpful for your in-house development team. If you're part of a team working on an iOS app, screen recordings can be an essential way to show the rest of your team what's happening so you can get that patch out as quickly as possible.
3. Demonstrate new app features or functionality
Whether you've created a new app or just updated an existing one, video is a great way to show people the features of which you're most proud. You choose to do a series of short videos highlighting individual features or a more detailed version. Either way, you can show exactly how it works. Plus, iOS 11's ability to capture narration means you can explain what you're doing, too.
4. Create an App Store preview video
Much like a video demonstrating new features or functionality, App Store video previews are a great way to show people exactly how your app works, what sets it apart from the crowd, and maybe even provide that extra incentive for a potential customer to click that Buy button. Depending on your app, you can do a comprehensive overview, a more in-depth view of features, or any combination you can think of.
5. Give feedback
More and more, mobile devices are replacing our desktop and laptop computers. Now you can review documents and images, and offer feedback from just about anywhere. iOS 11's new screen recording feature allows you to do even more. Now, instead of typing out your comments in an email or text, you can record your thoughts and changes while reviewing. Whether you choose to record narration or let the visuals do the talking on their own, you can be sure your recipient will know exactly what you mean.
6. Record yourself playing a game
Share your Pokemon Go! conquests with the world. Enough said. As for me, I'm still trying to master 2048 like it's 2014.
Tips for recording your iPhone screen
Just like with any screen recording, you'll want to keep a few things in mind to ensure your video is the best it can be:
- Be sure to turn off notifications. Nothing ruins a good screen recording like a popup notification of a text message or a new like on Instagram.
- Trim the beginning and end. You can do some light editing in the Photos app. At the very least, trim the portions at the beginning and end where you start and stop the recording. For more advanced editing, such as adding callouts, text, or music, you can import your video into a video editor like Camtasia.
- For a more professional polish, start with a script. This is especially important if you're highlighting features or creating an App Store preview video. This ensures you know what you want to say and how you want to say it.
- For even more polish, use a microphone. If you're going to narrate your video, your device's built in microphone will capture your voice (and everything else going on in the room). A microphone can be a great way to better isolate your voice so you're more clearly understood. For more information on mics, check out this great blog post from my colleague Matt Pierce.
- Ryan is a nerd
- Favorites: Alien (and Aliens), his dogs and iced tea
- Secret talent: Coaching roller derby
- Reading list: Anything by Neil Gaiman