I need to find a way to output, or possibly make an internal recording of, a screencast of everything on the iPad screen, so that I can record demonstrations of an app my company is developing.

Of course I could position the iPad on a table with a video camera over my shoulder, but there must be methods available now for providing video output that can be captured by another device, or making an internal screencast.

I'm not talking about streaming video from within an iPad app for display on an Apple TV or another device. I need to output or record everything on the iPad, and at a sufficiently high frame rate.

I know there are means of making a screencast from the iPhone Simulator on XCode in Mac OS X, but that does not meet my needs either.

  • Do you have some kind of recording device that accepts HDMI input?
    – Tuesday
    Commented Apr 1, 2012 at 16:54
  • I'm willing to invest in such a device if it's the best method. Do you have a recommendation?
    – user9290
    Commented Apr 1, 2012 at 16:55

4 Answers 4


Reflector App

I have purchased and evaluated a newly released program called Reflector App (which runs on your Mac) that does everything I need it to do. It costs US $15 and works using Apple Airplay on your iOS device, so it supports iPad 2, iPad 3, and iPhone 4S. It makes its own QuickTime recordings with audio and video. If you have a good connection with a WiFi N router (such as my Apple Time Capsule) and an Ethernet connection to your Mac, you get a frame rate good enough to record yourself playing Angry Birds, at full iPad screen size. It records audio and video from your iPad.

This app is quite new and small updates are being released frequently. The documentation is sketchy but the tech support via email is responsive.

You can download a trial version that will only work for 10 minutes total; after that you must pay for the app. It's not available in the Mac App Store and I suspect it won't be. You can purchase it directly from the web site.


Based on what you've described, this currently is not possible unless you JailBreak your device. If you're willing to do that, there are a couple options available through Cydia. First, there's ScreenSplitr, which pairs your device with your computer through a program called iDemo and allows you to have real-time iOS demonstrations. If you just want to record a screencast on the actual device, you should use Display Recorder. It does precisely what you're looking for. It records anything that happens on the screen and can save the video to different formats. If you don't want to use the iOS simulator, then I'd suggest you JailBreak which can be reversed.


One way to do this is potentially to use AirPlay mirroring.

Assuming that the App that is being developed supports (or for the purposes of creating the demo can be made to support) Airplay, you can then run a piece of software on a Mac called Airplay Receiver which will allow you to direct the airplay output to your Mac rather than to an Apple TV. Once this is working, any number of Mac based screen capture programs can be used to record the stream.

There may well be a way to use a Mac to record output from the iPad simulator also, but without proper access to those tools I am unsure how to detail this further, although a future answer may be able to comment further so I include the thought anyway.


With the new mirroring available since iPad 2, you can use an HDMI recorder to capture screen output of recent iOS devices. There are many available and can be found via google search for "hdmi recorder mac". There are more (and lower cost) options for Windows computers if you have access to windows machines for this recording session.

The HDMI output is generally displayed with black bars at 1080p output over HDMI, so you'll need to use a video editing program to crop to just the 1024x768 portion you'll need. You won't be able to get the full resolution of the new iPad via any means right now, though eventually jailbreaking and screen capture will become available for the new iPad.

You can get just the 1024x768 video data out using the VGA output adaptor, but VGA recording devices appear to be more expensive and less available than HDMI recording devices.

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