Easy iOS Device Projector Demos

I recently did a talk where I live demoed some OCR functionality that I built. Essentially, I had to show what was happening on my device screen while I took a picture of a piece of paper. The main issue with this for screen reflector apps is that the refresh rate isn’t nearly as fast as the native iOS camera app – especially in web conference meetings, so you end up getting horizontal black lines all over your camera view.

Looks something like this:

Camera lines

Luckily, I found a simple and free solution for it that also makes iOS demos on a Mac computer screen much easier. You can now do demos with the new Quicktime Yosemite movie recording feature.

QuickTime shows your connected device’s screen live on your own computer screen. It makes it really easy to show whatever you are demoing your device in a much larger format. This can be very useful for presentations or meetings, rather than having a bunch of people crowd around your tiny screen or using third-party software like Reflector.

The best part is that it’s straightforward to set up. Here are the steps:

  1. Open QuickTime
  2. Connect your iOS mobile device to your computer using the lightning cable
  3. Right-click on the QuickTime icon and choose New Movie Recording
  4. At this point, it’ll probably pop up with a live stream of your face since it connects to the webcam by default.
  5. Now, click on the down arrow button next to be big red recording button.
  6. Find your device name listed in the Camera section and click it. It should now show your device’s screen instead.

That’s it! At this point, you can interact with your device like normal.

The only thing that’s not as good as some of the third-party apps is that this technique doesn’t show where the user is tapping on the screen. Most of the time, you’re able to just talk through where you’re tapping while you’re demoing so it shouldn’t pose too much of an issue.

Leave a Reply