For the last two years, I’ve wanted (but have not been able) to record my iPad or iPhone screen to do training videos without using a video camera to capture it. It also seemed to me that we should be able to live broadcast my video camera to my iPad. And, when will I be able to touch-control my Mac screen (without using a Wacom tablet)? The power of AirPlay has helped to now make all of this possible.
AirPlay wireless streaming (originally called AirTunes 2004-2010) was designed to make it easy to tap into your iTunes library through Apple TV. You just open iTunes on your laptop or Apple portable device, and select Apple TV in the AirPlay menu. You can then control the volume remotely, and even stream the music simultaneously to additional AirPlay-compatible components. You can also send music or video from your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad (even play games on your TV using your iPhone as the controller, hearing the soundtrack through your audio system). I have found that I can also play Internet radio stations through iTunes, or sound from my iPhone or iPad apps — including music services such as Pandora Internet radio, Rhapsody, and Last.fm.
Apple TV gives you a virtually unlimited selection of high-definition movies, TV shows, video, and photos to explore. This wireless digital media receiver can play music from your computer, show photos from your iPhone, even access your media collection stored online in the iCloud. The newest Apple TV can stream full 1080p high-definition video and audio. You'll enjoy your favorite TV shows, movies and even photo slideshows in breath-taking 1080p resolution. And, with the ability to deliver Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound, your movies and shows will sound as good as they look, all for only $99.99.
But, if you have an iPad 2, the new iPad or iPhone 4S, you're not just limited to audio. Your device also has AirPlay Mirroring functionality (introduced in 2011 as part of iOS 5) which means you can wirelessly stream what's on its screen to your TV screen through the Apple TV. Show everyone what's on your device, even when you zoom in or change from portrait to landscape. This concept has been adapted into some really cool apps, four of which I’m describing here because they are cutting-edge innovative multi-device approaches that expand utility and functionally in unique ways that enhance the thrill and excitement of our Mac and iOS device investments.
AirBeam turns your iPhones, iPod touchs or iPads into a realtime audio and video surveillance system. It streams live video and audio from the cameras and microphones of any number of iPhones, iPod touchs or iPads. You can watch the stream on any other iDevice, Mac or Web browser, even on multiple screens simultaneously. Use your iDevices as luxury baby monitors, for serious surveillance, to keep an eye on your pets, a FPV cam in your remote control toys, and hundreds of useful (and not so useful) things you can do with it. Even if you have just a single device, AirBeam is an awesome tool for motion-controlled video recording. This universal app is available on the iTunes Store for $3.99.
Air Display can satisfy your wish for an extra display for your Mac (or Windows) computer. You can use your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch as a wireless display, to extend your computer desktop. Air Display works in both landscape and portrait configurations (you just rotate your screen, and it automatically reconfigures). This makes a laptop much more useful by adding the iPad's 1024x768 display which nearly doubles the screen area of a laptop (except the 2009 15” /17” MacBook Pros) or netbook. Air Display not only gives you a wireless computer screen extender, but also works as a tablet input device. You can use your finger to draw directly on the screen's surface such as with a calculator, painting tool, music control surface, iWorks Inspector, email location, and more (simple gestures allow you to operate the right mouse button and scroll wheel too). This program is available at the Mac App Store for $9.99.
Reflector 2 allows you to use AirPlay to mirror your iPhone 4S, iPad 2 or new iPad to any Mac running OS X 10.6+, wirelessly. I can now easily demo iOS apps on any Mac running OS X Lion using AirPlay Mirroring on iOS 5, and record it using QuickTime, ScreenFlow or other screen recorders. I can now enable/disable an iPhone or iPad “wrapper” (this preserves the look of the device around the screen), change the color, record the screen, and more. Amazingly, I can also display any iOS game on either my 27” iMac or 17” MacBook Pro screen, even show my iPad 2 and iPhone 4S on the screen at the same time (no, you can’t “touch” them, is display). A free trial version (fully-function for 10 minutes) is available at airsquirrels.com/reflector, and the full purchase price is $14.99.
AirParrot will place our Mac's screen on your Apple TV. You can choose the display the AirPlay device will mirror to in order to enjoy your video and audio. Also adjustable is the quality versus speed performance, show the mouse cursor, and adjust that nasty overscan. This program is built from the ground up to support the great things in OS X Lion while also supporting OS X Snow Leopard. A free trial version (fully-function for 10 minutes) is available at www.airparrot.com, and the full purchase price is $9.99.
These are amazing Mac and iOS apps which fully utilize the power of Wi-Fi through Airplay and Apple TV to achieve a new level of productivity. And, they are FUN to boot!
I've also been recently informed of another comparative review of ways to record screen videos by JP Zhang which can be found at softwarehow.com/ios-screen-recorder-guide. Its just amazing what you can do with these great apps!