How To Make a Video of Anything on Your iPhone or iPad Screen


You know how to use the Camera app on your iPhone or iPad to take a video, but did you know that you can also record a video of what happens on the screen of your device? That’s useful if you’re trying to explain the steps of some technical process to a friend or show a tech support rep what’s going wrong in an app or Web site. You could also use a screen recording to copy a video from Facebook, for instance, that you want to send to a social media–averse friend.

First, to get set up, go to Settings > Control Center > Customize Controls and tap the green + button next to Screen Recording to add it to the list of controls that appear in Control Center. Drag it in the list to rearrange where its round Record button will show up in Control Center. Here’s a screen recording showing those steps:

Making your first screen recording is simple. Follow these steps:

  1. Open Control Center. (Swipe up from the bottom edge of the screen, or, if you’re using an iPhone X or later, or an iPad running iOS 12, swipe down from the top-right corner of the screen.)
  2. Press deeply on the Screen Recording button to open a menu. If you want to record your voice via the microphone as well, tap the Microphone button to turn it on.
  3. Tap Start Recording, and then wait for the 3-second countdown.
  4. Perform the actions that you want to be recorded.
  5. To stop the recording, either enter Control Center again and tap the red Record button or tap the red status icon at the upper left of the screen and tap Stop. A notification appears, telling you that your screen recording was saved to Photos.

In fact, if you want to keep your options for the destination app and microphone at their current settings, making a screen recording is even easier:

  1. Open Control Center.
  2. Tap the Record button instead of pressing deeply.
  3. Perform your actions.
  4. Stop the recording via Control Center or the red status bar.

Told you it was simple. But we bet you have questions, so let’s provide some answers.

Where did my screen recording go?

As the notification informs you, screen recordings end up in the Photos app, just like any other photo or video. You’ll see them both in the Photos view and in Albums > Media Types > Videos.

What are Messenger and Skype doing in the screenshot earlier?

Instead of recording your screen to a video file, you can instead broadcast it to a Facebook Messenger or Skype chat. That might be useful for a quick show-and-tell while having a conversation.

Can I edit the screen recording?

Yes, although the Photos app limits you to trimming frames from the start and end of the video (which actually creates a new video with your selection rather than editing the original). For more significant editing, tap the ••• button in the Photos edit interface and send the video to iMovie.

Is there any way to show my taps and drags in the screen recording?

Yes, but it’s not easy. There’s a trick that relies on iOS’s Accessibility features, but it’s way too clumsy and leaves the Assistive Touch button on the screen the entire time. A better approach would be to use a dedicated app like ScreenFlow (which is what we used above) to insert circles where your fingers touch down, but that’s worthwhile only for videos where you need higher production values.

For the most part, though, the point of screen recordings is not to make the perfect movie—it’s to create and share a video of something that would otherwise be difficult or impossible to convey.

(Featured image by Lisa Fotios from Pexels)

How Free Up Space with iOS 12 on an iPhone or iPad

Little is more frustrating than running out of space your iPhone or iPad. In this article, I’ll explain how to free up space on your iPhone and iPad in iOS 12. You can’t take new photos, you can’t download new apps, some things may not work at all, and iOS will nag you repeatedly about how you can “manage” your storage in Settings. Luckily, over the past few versions of iOS, Apple has significantly improved the options for clearing unnecessary data from your device.

Storage Graph

To get started clearing space, go to Settings > iPhone/iPad Storage. At the top of the screen, a graph reveals where your space is going, such as Apps, Photos, Media, Messages, Mail, Books, iCloud Drive, and Other. You can’t do anything with the graph, but it will likely reveal the main culprits.


Next, iOS shows recommendations for quick ways to recover space. These vary based on how you use your device, so you will likely see other options here.

Some of the possibilities include:

  • Offload Unused Apps: This choice is particularly helpful if you download a lot of apps that you later stop using. Enable it, and iOS automatically recovers space from unused apps when you’re low on storage. Each of these apps remains on your Home screen with a little cloud icon next to it, and when you next tap the app to open it, iOS re-downloads the app from the App Store. You won’t lose any documents, data, or settings associated with an offloaded app.
  • Review Downloaded Videos: Some apps, like Netflix, can download videos for offline watching. That’s great for when you’re on a long flight, but if you forget to delete the videos, they can consume a lot of space. This option shows them to you and lets you swipe left on any one to delete it.
  • Review Large Attachments: Photos, videos, and other files sent to you in Messages can take up a lot of space. This recommendation reveals them and lets you swipe left to delete those you don’t need to keep.
  • “Recently Deleted” Album: When you delete photos in the Photos app, they go into the Recently Deleted album, where they’ll be deleted automatically after up to 40 days. This recommendation lets you remove those images right away.
  • Review Personal Videos: Shooting videos with your iPhone or iPad can guzzle storage, so this recommendation shows you the videos you’ve taken in case you don’t want to keep them.

iOS’s recommendations are quite good and may be all you need to clear space quickly. However, if you need to dig deeper, you can look at the usage of individual apps.

Individual App Usage

The third and final section of the iPhone/iPad Storage screen lists every app on your device, sorted by how much space it takes up. Along with the app’s name and how much space it consumes, iOS helpfully tells you the last time you used the app. You may even see “Never Used” for older apps that you’ve carried over from previous devices but haven’t opened on this one.

When you tap an app, iOS shows more information about how much space the app and its documents occupy, and lets you tap Offload App or Delete App to recover its space. For some apps, mostly those from Apple, like Music and Podcasts, iOS also shows the data stored by the app and lets you delete any individual item (swipe left).

Focus on the apps at the top of the list—the list is sorted by size—since it will be a lot easier to realize, for instance, that you’ve never used GarageBand and recover its 1.59 GB of space than to sort through a long list of apps and their data.

With all these the tools from Apple, you should have no trouble making space on your device for more photos, videos, and apps that you actually want to use.

Amazon Prime Video Comes to the Apple TV

It’s been a long time coming, but Amazon Prime Video is now available on the Apple TV as an App. A $99-per-year Amazon Prime membership provides various perks, including free 2-day shipping from the Amazon online store and streaming access to Amazon’s media libraries. But for Apple TV users, accessing Prime Video content has been frustrating, because there was no Amazon app for the Apple TV. That has all changed now, and if you have an Amazon Prime membership and an Apple TV, it’s time to download the new Amazon Prime Video app. It gives you a boatload of additional video content, including Amazon’s original programming (like The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, which is hilarious). Find it on your fourth-generation Apple TV or Apple TV 4K in the App Store app. If you are still using a third-generation Apple TV, Amazon Prime Video should appear automatically on your Apple TV Home screen.

Use AirPlay to Send Audio and Video to Remote Speakers and TVs

In the old days, when you wanted to play audio on a stereo or connect your Mac to a TV, you needed a cable. The details varied over time and with different devices, but one thing remained constant: cables were always a pain!

To eliminate the need for fussy cables, Apple developed a wireless transmission technology called AirPlay. With AirPlay, you can send audio and video from one device to another, making it possible, for instance, to play music from your iPhone on a standalone speaker or put a webcast video from Safari on your Mac onto the big screen in your living room. You can even use AirPlay to mirror your iPad or Mac screen on a large-screen TV.

With AirPlay, it always takes two to tango: a device that sends the audio or video, and another device that receives it. When it comes to receiving audio and video via AirPlay, you have four options:

  • An Apple TV (second-generation or newer) can receive both audio and video and play it on a TV
  • An AirPort Express base station can receive audio and pass it on to a stereo
  • Various manufacturers sell standalone AirPlay-enabled speakers that can play audio
  • The Airfoil Satellite app from Rogue Amoeba turns a Mac, Windows PC, or iOS device into an audio receiver. Airfoil Satellite for Mac or Windows is free with the purchase of Airfoil, which adds AirPlay support to more apps.

How you send audio and video varies by device and what you’re trying to accomplish:

  • In iOS 10, when you’re playing audio or video that you want to send via AirPlay, swipe up from the bottom of the screen to reveal Control Center, swipe left to show the Media pane, and then tap the destination device in the list.
  • On a Mac, to send audio or video from iTunes via AirPlay, click the AirPlay icon to the right of the volume slider in the toolbar, and choose a destination. When you’re playing audio, you can click the + to send audio to multiple destinations at the same time.
  • You can also send certain videos from Safari or QuickTime Player to an Apple TV. Click the AirPlay  icon in the playback controls and then choose your Apple TV.
  • On a Mac, you can send all the audio (from all apps!) to an AirPort Express or AirPlay speaker by clicking (or Option-clicking in older versions of OS X) the Sound   icon in the menu bar and choosing the destination device. You can also choose a destination device in the Output view of the Sound system preference pane.
  • To send audio from any Mac app to an AirPlay speaker without sending your entire system audio there, use Rogue Amoeba’s Airfoil.

AirPlay’s last neat trick is that you can use it with an Apple TV to mirror your Mac or iOS device screen (where the same image appears on both screens) or use an AirPlay-connected Apple TV as a separate display to extend your Mac’s desktop. This is a good way to play video on an Apple TV if you need to use an app other than iTunes, Safari, or QuickTime Player. Here’s what you do:

  • In iOS, swipe up from the bottom of the screen to reveal Control Center, and in the leftmost pane, tap the AirPlay Mirroring button and choose your Apple TV.
  • On a Mac, click the AirPlay   icon in the menu bar and choose your Apple TV from the list. Once you’ve selected it, click that menu again to choose whether you mirror your Mac screen to the Apple TV or use the Apple TV as a separate display.

If you have trouble with AirPlay, make sure both devices are on the same Wi-Fi network and that all software has been updated to the latest version. If that isn’t sufficient, restart each device, along with your network router.

AirPlay isn’t perfect, but Apple has been improving it in every new release of iOS and macOS, so if you would like to extend your iPhone’s musical reach or play video from your Mac on your HDTV, give it a try!