MacMost Now 702: iPad Video Screen Capture With AirServer

With AirPlay and the help of the Mac app AirServer, you can bring your iPad or iPhone's screen to your Mac. You can then capture the screen using your favorite video capture software. This new method replaces the old method of using expensive HDMI cables and capture hardware.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: MacMost Now 702: iPad Video Screen Capture With AirServer.

Hi, this is Gary, with MacMost Now. In today's episode, let me show you how to capture the screen of your iPad on your Mac, without any special cables or hardware. So back in episode 546, I showed you how to use Apple's HDMI adapter, bring it through a cable, into an HDMI capture card, and capture the screen of your iPad, or your iPhone, on your Mac. Well, now there's an easier technique, thanks to the ability for the new iPad and iPhone to share using Airplay and an app that you have to get for your Mac. So the app you need on your Mac is called AirServer. You get it at It's not free, you can get it for $15 for your Mac. But it's a lot cheaper than even the cables you need to do it with the hardware method. Now when I run AirServer, I get it up here as an icon on my Menu bar, and I can change things. Go to preferences and such, or set it to launch on startup. To initiate it, I go back to my iPad here, and I use Airplay by going to the bottom Menu bar here, I'll show you in a second. I can select, in addition to seeing my Apple TV here as an Airplay device, I can select my Mac. Then, you can see it appear here on my Mac. It appears in a window; you see what I just did, this is my iPad screen on my Mac. I selected at the bottom bar here in the controls, Airplay, and then I selected my Mac here as the Airplay device, and had Mirroring turned on. So, now on my Ipad here, you can see everything that I do. The AirServer window here appears as a regular window; I can resize it as I want, I can bring up some post-processing controls, like this. Sharpen, brightness controls, and move that around. So for instance, adjust the brightness there. I can also go fullscreen, like that. As you can see, of course, I can easily use this as a way to record the screen here, because all I need to do on top of this is use screen recording software, like I am for making this video, and record my Mac's screen, and I get everything that's being shown on my iPad. So this can be very useful if you're showing something on your Mac, say you're presenting and you want to show something on your iPad, you don't have to switch, you can just use this app. If you want to record something, like say if you're an app developer or a tutorial maker, and you want to record things going on on your iPad, you can use this, then any screen-recording software will capture what's going on on your screen then, and you can create a recording of what's going on on your iPad with no additional cables, just this piece of software. Of course, you need an iPad; the iPad 2 or the new iPad, or you can do this using the iPhone 4S, all which have capability to do Airplay streaming to video. If you can do it to an Apple TV, then you can do it to AirServer, and use AirServer to see and record your iPad screen. So I hope you found this useful. Until next time, this is Gary, with MacMost Now.

Comments: 12 Responses to “MacMost Now 702: iPad Video Screen Capture With AirServer”

    Claude Coiffard
    7 years ago

    I watched your video and downloaded Airserver on my iMac, and activated it.
    It is now in my Applications, but I cannot open it when clicking on the icon.
    How do I proceed to capture screens of my new iPad or iPhone 3Gs updated to IOS5?
    Tks your help. Kind regards.

      7 years ago

      Check their web site and support for details. But I think you might be misunderstanding how it works. You have to go to your iPad/iPhone to start AirPlay, then select your Mac as the device. You can’t initiate AirPlay from the receiving device (your Mac), you have to initiate it from the sending device (iPad/iPhone). Same for anything AirPlay (Apple TV, etc).

    7 years ago

    Can you also use this with iphone?

      7 years ago

      Yes. Must be iPhone 4S (the only model capable of AirPlay mirroring).

    Kristine Jones
    7 years ago

    Hi Gary.

    This video was very helpful. I downloaded Airserver and can play my videos and photos on my Mac, but my AirPlay on my iPad2 doesn’t offer the mirroring option when I open AirPlay on the iPad. The Mac device can be chosen, but nothing is there when I scroll down. I am trying to screencast an app for a client. Any ideas?


      7 years ago

      I can’t remember if the iPad 2 supported mirroring. It might be the new iPad only. But to be sure, make sure the iPad 2 is using the very latest version of iOS.

    Frederick Weber
    7 years ago

    Hi Gary

    Dude, thanks for all your great stuff! Being a Mac guy from 128 days, I even find we all don’t know it all but together we learn and share!

    I use Snapz Pro to capture video from my IOS devices using AirServer.

    I am very happy with that.

    You mentioned a Black-Magic video box back a while. Have you seen all the great video stuff they make? Check out the BlackMagic Cinema Camera…

    How about a review of capturing video from that bad-boy?


    Dave Irwin
    7 years ago

    This is probably heresy, but is it possible to record iOS devices onto a Windows PC without the need to jailbreak the device? I’m aware that AirServer doesn’t have the mirroring feature for Windows yet…

      7 years ago

      Well, you could get a PC with HDMI recoding capability and then use the HDMI cable from your iOS device to your PC. Or, see if some other company has come out with a Windows-based AirPlay solution.

    Captain Photo
    6 years ago

    Gary this post was SO helpful and is exactly the information I’ve been looking for. Making tutorials for iPhone & iPad photo processing apps will now be possible for me and so easily using Airplay and Screenflow! To really pimp out my tutorials it would be great to be able have a way of showing, on the captured Screenflow video, where my fingers move on the iPhone or iPad too…. have you any advice on getting that going too?

      6 years ago

      You could use Screenflow’s editing tools to do that (draw circles, arrows, etc). Or, you could just use your cursor — move your cursor over the AirServer image to copy what your fingers are doing.

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