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How to Record iPad Screen Videos

Typically, people want record videos of their iPad’s screen so that they can use the footage to create video guides involving mobile apps or games, or to save online videos, video calls, and so on. The one problem with that is that it isn’t possible to directly record videos from the screen of any iOS device, so third-party workarounds need to be used.

Fortunately, there are several workarounds that you could pursue, each with its advantages and disadvantages. Depending on your preference, you should choose the one that suits your needs best.

Record iPad Screen Videos by…

Using a Video Camera

Although it may seem like a surprisingly low-tech solution, you’d be amazed how often people choose to record videos of their iPad’s screen by simply using a video camera. The reason for this is simple: It allows the recording to show your fingers as you touch and interact with elements on the screen, which can be helpful for certain types of videos.

Be aware that if you choose to record videos in this fashion, quality is normally a problem and issues such as out-of-focus footage and banding are pretty common. Measures can be taken to minimize these issues, such as using a tripod to keep the camera steady, and setting it on manual so that its focus and exposure doesn’t constantly shift.

Using External Hardware

record ipad screen videos

Over the years there have been several types of video capture devices that have been used to record videos from the screen of iPads such as the Elgato Game Capture HD60 or Hauppauge HD PVR Rocket. Most were designed to record footage from game consoles, and as such require the iPad to be connected using HDMI cables (which will require an adapter).

Generally, the video quality when recording in this fashion is good, and many of the devices themselves are standalone units that will record directly to a USB flash drive or hard drive. However the options when recording using these devices tend to be limited, and you will still need a PC or Mac if you want to edit the video afterwards.

Using a Screen Recorder

Arguably the most popular method nowadays is to use a screen recorder on a PC or Mac. To do so the iPad will have to be connected to the PC or Mac, but that can be done easily with the standard lightning-to-USB cable – though some solutions use AirPlay streaming or WiFi to achieve the same result.

Related: Record Your Mac Webcam With QuickTime and VLC

The only real requirement when using a screen recorder is that it has to be able to detect the iPad once it is connected.  Many screen recorders have that capability, and in fact, QuickTime itself can act as a screen recorder – albeit a very basic one.

Using iOS 11 (Not Yet Released)

While iOS 11 is not yet released, once it is it will be possible to enable screen recording directly. The option for it will be in ‘Settings’ under the ‘Control Center’, and once enabled you can record whatever is on your iPad’s screen.

As much as this option is a welcome and convenient addition to iOS, it is far from a universal solution. Even after iOS 11 is released, the fact of the matter is that it will only be available on certain devices – so older iPads will not be able to update to it and access the feature.

Because of that, for now, it may be best to carry out screen capture on iPad using a screen recorder. It is the most convenient method, especially if you use an intuitive screen recorder such as Movavi Screen Capture Studio for Mac.

With Movavi Screen Capture Studio for Mac, you can record videos from an iPad’s screen then use the built-in editor to edit it. It will afford you numerous features that you can use to trim out any parts you don’t need, combine video clips, enhance the video quality, insert animated transitions, add audio tracks, and insert customizable text fields as captions.

Due to how easy it is to use as well as the features it provides, you should certainly try out Movavi Screen Capture Studio for Mac. It shouldn’t take you long to familiarize yourself with it, and you could be recording your iPad’s screen in the next few minutes.

The post How to Record iPad Screen Videos appeared first on Apple Gazette.

Why is HEVC Better than H.264?

In High Sierra and iOS 11, Apple will be implementing a new video encoding process called High Efficiency Video Coding, or HEVC. It promises to shrink video size by a huge margin, supporting new high-resolution content while saving disk space. But what makes HEVC better than H.264, the video codec it plans to replace?

HEVC, also known as H.265, is a video compression standard designed for the newest generations of high-resolution video. It’s a successor to the widely-used H.264 codec (also called AVC or MPEG-4 Part 10) and offers some major improvements over that now-aging compression scheme. Eventually, HEVC (or H.265) may replace H.264 completely, but that might take some time to truly take hold.

HEVC was developed by the Joint Collaborative Team on Video Coding (JCT-VC), a group of video coding experts that started working on the compression standard back in 2010. Apple announced support for it at WWDC, and will be rolling it out to all iPhone users with devices newer than the iPhone 6 with the release of iOS 11.

Why Is HEVC Better than H.264? 

hevc better than h.264

The HEVC codec offers some major improvements over the H.264 codec, which was first developed in the hazy days of 2003. There are far more improvements that we can cover here, but these are the highlights for consumers.

Better compression

HEVC provides major improvements in compression when compared to the H.264 codec it’s replacing. In fact, the newer codec can compress video nearly twice as efficiently as its predecessor. With HEVC, a video of the same apparent visual quality would take up only half as much space. Alternatively, a video of the same file size and bit rate could be significantly better looking.

Part of this improvement comes from an increased macroblock size. Macroblocks define the image area used for compression calculations, and larger macroblocks are required to efficiently compress high resolution video. H.264 allows for only 16 x 16 pixel macroblocks, which are too small to be efficient with video above 1080p. HEVC provides for 64 x 64 pixel macroblocks (now called coding tree units or CTUs), allowing for greater encoding efficiency at higher resolutions.

Improved intraframe motion prediction

A major element in video compression is predicting motion (or the lack thereof) between frames. When a pixel stays static (a solid background image, or for example) a smart video codec can save space by referencing it, rather than reproducing it. With improved motion prediction, HEVC can provide smaller file sizes and increased compression quality. 

Improved intraframe prediction

Video compression also benefits from analyzing “movement” within individual frames, allowing single frames of video to be compressed more efficiently. This can be achieved by describing pixels layouts with a mathematical function rather than actual pixel values. The function takes up less space than pixel data, shrinking file size. However, the codec must support a sufficiently advanced mathematical function for this technique to be truly useful. HEVC’s intraframe prediction function is far more detailed than H.264’s, allowing for 33 directions of motion over H.264’s nine directions.

Parallel processing

HEVC uses tiles and slices which can be decoded independently from the rest of a frame. This means that the decoding process can be split up across multiple parallel process threads, taking advantage of more efficient decoding opportunities on now-standard multi-core processors. With video resolutions getting higher, this kind of improved efficiency is required to decode video at a watchable pace on lower-end hardware.

Higher maximum frame size

The world is getting higher-res, and HEVC supports that. With HEVC, video can be encoded at up to 8K UHD or 8192 pixels × 4320 pixels. Currently, only a handful of cameras can even produce 8K video, and very few monitors can display that kind of resolution. But just as HD is today’s standard, we can expect 4K and eventually 8K to rise to similar prominence eventually.

Hardware Support

The HEVC codec is specifically supported by the current generation of Intel processors. The Kaby Lake line of processors contains special instruction sets for encoding and decoding HEVC video, as should future generations. This gives the codec a major speed and consistency advantage when compared to other high-res video codecs. Considering the popularity and technical superiority of the H.264 codec, it’s not surprising that Intel would choose to throw their hardware might behind its successor.

Of course, this doesn’t limit HEVC use to Kaby Lake processors, but it does mean that computers using Kaby Lake chips will play HEVC video more fluidly. And considering the computational overhead required to encode and decode high-resolution HEVC video is significant, this could mean a major difference between hardware- and software-supported implementations of HEVC.

Conclusion: Where Is HEVC Found?

hevc better than h.264 hero

Support for HEVC isn’t limited to macOS High Sierra and iOS 11. The video format will also be used in Apple’s tvOS and Safari web browser for streaming video, and other companies are broadening their support. It’s still not as popular as the erstwhile H.264, but it is gaining ground.

Just last month Microsoft released a free extension for Windows 10 that adds support for HEVC video decoding. Netflix’s 4K content is streamed with the HEVC codec on supported hardware. YouTube, on the other hand, does not use HEVC, instead opting for their competing VP9 compression scheme.

But with HEVC greater efficiency, we’re likely to see that codec dominate the marketplace in the years to come.

You might also like:

iOS 11 Brings a Heap of New Features This Fall
Capture Video from an iPad Screen Using Movavi Screen Capture Studio for Mac
Designer Jumps the Gun With this iPhone 8 Concept Video

The post Why is HEVC Better than H.264? appeared first on Apple Gazette.

Free iOS Apps Today: Download Paid Apps for Free, August 14, 2017

Here is your weekly dose of free iOS apps to download.

Note: These apps are free as of this writing; they may go back to their regular price anytime so download the apps for free while you can.)

Paid apps for free today

ImgPlay Pro – GIF Maker

paid apps for free

ImgPlay can make GIFs or videos using Live Photos, photos, burst photos, and video at the easiest.
Make and share GIFs with friends quickly.

It is the best GIF Maker of the iPhone/iPad. very simple! no complicated!

ImgPlay that can make you feel the moment you shot videos and photos more lively!
Make your own GIF, enjoy, and share with ImgPlay now!

Features

* Making GIF, Video…
– with Live Photos. (iOS9 or better)
– with Burst Photos.
– by Choosing Picture by Picture.
– Partially editing Video. (Video to GIF)
– Partially editing GIF. (iOS9 or better)
– by Recording Video. (CAMERA mode)
– with import GIF, Video file from Wi-Fi, iTunes, Dropbox, GoogleDrive

DOWNLOAD

True Skate

paid apps for free

Features:
– Realistic touch based physics.
– Flick the board to make it react exactly how you would expect.
– Drag your finger on the ground to push.
– A beautiful skate park to get lost in including ledges, stairs, grind rails plus a bowl, half pipe and quarter pipes. (Additional skate parks are now available as an In-App Purchase)
– Slow motion.
– User challenges
– Replay sharing
– Global leaderboards.

DOWNLOAD

PhotoTangler – Best Collage Maker to Blend Photos

free ios apps

PhotoTangler Collage Maker is a powerful image app that instantly turns your favorite photos into beautiful collages. It allows you to blend them together in unique and creative ways. It’s easy, fun, and the results look like magic! Just drop photos on the canvas, and watch PhotoTangler seamlessly blend them together with any other photos nearby. Anyone can get gorgeous, professional looking results, even with no graphics experience!

Unlike many collage makers out there, PhotoTangler does the hard work behind instantly blending and merging photos together for you. Instead of getting caught up learning grueling technical details, you can focus your time and energy on making gorgeous photo projects! Whether you’re using it for stunning social media pictures, general artwork, digital scrapbooking, to make a quick gift for a friend of family member, or even as a marketing tool for your business, the quick, high-quality results from this app will surely impress. PhotoTangler is a unique, easy and exciting solution to instantly merge photos into impressive collages.

DOWNLOAD

Sketchworthy – Notes, Sketches, and Ideas

free ios apps

Sketchworthy is designed as a beautiful and innovative way to create and manage all your notes, sketches, scribbles, and more. Create notebooks and pages of your sketches, annotate maps and webpages, add photos, text, draw, and more. The app takes advantage of new iOS 9 technology to offer an experience unseen in other note-taking or drawing apps.

SIMPLICITY MEETS FUNCTIONALITY
Sketchworthy is beautiful. Interfaces are clean and intuitive, and Menus are uncluttered and easy to navigate. Built-in help makes the app easy to learn and use. Yet despite its beauty and simplicity, the app packs a powerful productivity punch!

ANNOTATE EVERYTHING
With Sketchworthy, you can capture and save maps, web pages, and photos. Anything you capture becomes a page in your notebook, and can be drawn on just like any other paper. Mark up and annotate to your heart’s content with our smooth and fluid drawing engine, and bring your concepts to life.

DOWNLOAD

Color Magnet

free ios apps

Color Magnet is a simple yet defying and addictive puzzle game that challenges your brain and sharpens your mental skills.

Shoot magnets to the board to attract blocks of the same color and get a combination of at least 5 to make them pop. Only the closest blocks in the same row and column will be pushed. Whatever you do, just remember: don’t let the blocks reach the bottom!

Relaxing and minimalist, with a clean and polished design, Color Magnet puts your puzzle skills to the test with its unique gameplay and clever concept.

Think strategically and be wise… It’s entirely up to you to become a truly Color Magnet Master!

DOWNLOAD

The post Free iOS Apps Today: Download Paid Apps for Free, August 14, 2017 appeared first on Apple Gazette.

Why Apple POS Systems Are Becoming More Popular

You’ve probably seen an Apple POS systems, even if you din’t realize it. Just stop in at any hip coffeeshop and take a look at the counter. Do you see a while plastic case cradling a tablet on a rotating stand? Inside of that stand is an iPad. Many of these iPads were initially provided by Square, the credit card processing company, but since then Apple POS systems have become popular with many small businesses.

The Square terminals in particular take an interesting hybrid approach to processing credit cards. First, the customer hands their credit or debit card to an employee. Then, as expected, the employee swipes your card. But then, the employee rotates the screen towards the customer to collect their signature and, incidentally, ask for a tip. When the customer is done, they’re prompted to turn the screen back to the barista. This readies the terminal for the next transaction. But why table and Apple POS systems like this become so popular? Let’s consider the reasoning.

Low Cost

Despite the lack of official POS branding or support, Apple POS systems can be found in all kinds of small businesses. With this approach, you don’t need an expensive cash register or complex embedded payment system. Of course, you’ll still find customized Micros systems at high-volume chain restaurants like Applebee’s and Starbucks, where reliability and programmability is key, but a vintage dress shop doesn’t require that kind of performance. They can get by with an iPad embedded in a payment terminal, or even just with a credit card dongle attached to the headphone jack or Lightning port. The most popular Apple POS systems are significantly cheaper and easier to maintain than traditional POS systems, which has helped them become popular with new business owners and smaller merchants.

Portability

apple pos systems paypal here

Tablet-based point-of-sale systems have one unshakable advantage over more traditional cash register terminals: you can easily take them with you. You don’t need a wired phone line for processing cards, and you don’t need to try and drag a 100-pound terminal with you. With just a super-portable iPad and a credit card dongle, you can accept credit cards at craft fairs, bake sales and outdoor industry shows. Considering that most younger consumers don’t even carry cash anymore, credit card processing is now required at what would have once been cash-only events. Without mobile credit card processing, merchants must either rely on their customers to carry cash or use antiquated, paper-based methods.

Flexibility

Apple POS System

Apple POS systems can also use modern payment methods. Square terminals, for example, can accept Apple Pay with an additional hardware dongle. If you use an old-school payment system, even getting hardware support for Apple Pay might be too costly or complicated. And if and when a new digital payment standard comes along (Bitcoin, maybe?), tablet systems can easily add support for that too. Because embedded systems don’t have as much capability at the hardware level, they can’t be modified as easily or cheaply.

Ease of Use

 

Setting up a cash register payment system is a pain. It’s possible to set up an embedded system by yourself, but it won’t be easy. You’ll often need a full day to figure out how to work the thing, or you might need even need n expert to come and set it up for you.

Tablet based payment systems are so easy to use that even customers can use them. You need just about no training to make it work. Nearly everyone is familiar with apps, you need only basic computer literacy to figure out which button to tap. And the software that supports payments is designed to be simple, and therefore easy to use. This does typically mean that the POS systems are not as powerful as deeply customized embedded systems, but it covers the basics required by the vast majority of merchants.

Familiarity

Most merchants are familiar with iPads. And if they’re not, it’s dead simple to pick up basic skills. iPads are easy to understand, and a merchant might even own one already. This means programming Apple POS systems is relatively easy. That can’t always be said for embedded payment systems, which ship with the bare minimum of features and can require extensive custom programming to get running properly. Many point of sale apps uses the same easy-to-understand design metaphors that power-user apps like Workflow feature, providing massive power with a graceful interface. This means that savvy users can be their own techs, avoiding complicated and costly.

You might also like:

PayPal Wants to Partner Up With Apple for Mobile Payment System
Not Using Apple Pay? This One Security Feature Will Change Your Mind Today
Is Apple Pay a Disappointment?

The post Why Apple POS Systems Are Becoming More Popular appeared first on Apple Gazette.

Apple’s AR, Not VR, Is the Next Big Thing,

Virtual reality gets a ton of attention: it’s a sexy technology that we’ve seen in science fiction for decades. Look at Neuromancer, Snow Crash, or Ready Player One. Full-immersion virtual reality underpins these science fiction universes, affecting society in both significant and subtle ways. So when people talk about the innovations of tomorrow, they want to talk about virtual reality. You might call this the “tricorder effect”: people are most excited to create and invest in the sci-fi technologies they’ve seen in books, TV and movies, with less glamorous technologies getting comparatively less attention. For example, as impressive as Apple’s ARKit implementation looks, there’s been surprisingly little buzz.

However, we would argue that AR, not VR, is actually where it’s at. As sexy as VR is, Apple’s AR is showing signs of being the next big thing. And Apple is poised to ride that wave. With major integration for AR in iOS 11, they’re finally offering a massive, AR-capable audience to developers. Apps have already begun to take advantage of Apple’s AR opportunity in interesting ways, and the features aren’t even out of beta yet. In the months and years to come, there’s a good chance that developers will truly explore the technical and social power of augmented reality. For the first time, thousands of developers will have access to millions of users with augmented-reality capable devices, and the results could be astounding.

Of course, Apple’s AR could totally crash on arrival: new technologies are always a gamble. But let’s consider why VR, the cooler version of Apple’s AR, isn’t quite ready to remake the world.

Virtual Reality is Technically Challenging

apple's AR

Even half-way convincing virtual reality is a massive technical challenge. With devices like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, we’ve conquered the most obvious technical hurdles, but the technology is still taking its first steps into the consumer marketplace. Even now, with multiple VR devices available to purchase, fidelity is relatively mediocre. Existing headsets only support a limited resolution, with a clear visible pixel grid on even the most expensive consumer units. A lot of this has to do with available graphics horsepower. Right now, only high-end PCs can process video for VR devices. For example, graphics manufacturer nVidia says that you’ll need their GTX 970 card to even think about processing virtual reality. For comparison, that GPU costs $300 (when you can get it at all thanks to Ethereum miner shortages). And even with that card, it needs to work full-time to render enough data for even moderately convincing virtual reality.

Let’s look at a concrete example. The Oculus Rift has two 1080×1200 OLED displays, with one for each eye. These refresh at 90Hz, providing a 110° field of view. This means that, every 90th of a second, your computer needs to process roughly the equivalent of two HD monitors of video content. It’s true that most VR games aren’t as visually demanding as their AAA counterparts, but that’s still a ton of work. That’s why the “entry level” VR card is so costly. A computer needs a ton of horsepower to render that many pixels without frame rate crashes or stuttering.

And while most enthusiast PC gamers will have that level of hardware on tap, that’s still a fairly limited market. On the other hand, we’re about to get AR support on a massively popular smartphone platform, with millions of existing devices in circulation.

Virtual Reality is Cumbersome

apple's AR

For all the advances we’ve made in the world of virtual reality, we’re still far away from the full-body input of Ready Player One or the million-mile Street in Snow Crash. The cutting-edge VR tech is goggle-based, meaning you need to strap a heavy headset to your noggin before you can punch deck. This isn’t the most comfortable sensation, and it can limit play sessions thanks to physical discomfort. And this tech is far from wireless. You’ll need to run beefy sound and video cables back your PC, and stay connected at all times as you move through virtual space. This can limit your immersion, though that’s reduced with clever cable routing.

Virtual reality also requires you to have a large physical space to take full advantage of it. For example, the HTC Vive (which supports the most movement) supports a maximum play space size of about 20 feet by 20 feet, though it can absolutely be used in smaller spaces. That said, look around the room where you do most of your living. Do you have 100 square feet of physical space just lying around? Probably not. This means either rearranging your room or limiting the amount of movement available. AR adapts to the world around you by definition, meaning you definitely don’t have to slide your desk into a corner to get it to work.

Finally, hand-based input in VR can be a little finicky. We haven’t gotten to the point where we can map individual finger motions into games. This limits input to general gestures and full-arm movements. With the Vive, you get some pretty excellent motion controllers that you hold on to while playing. Most Rift games use an Xbox controller for movement.

Virtual Reality is Physically Hard

Aside from the technological challenges and design hurdles, virtual reality needs to overcome a unique problem: its user’s physical limitations. A non-neglible percentage of virtual reality users get serious nausea, owing to the mismatch between visual input and bodily movement.

It’s all thanks to your brain’s confusion. Your eyes say you’re moving, but your body says you’re standing still. Your brain gets confused, assuming that this mismatch of visual and physical stimuli must be a result of some seriously bad food, and encourages the body to vomit up whatever poison you recently ingested. Limiting movement or using a crosshair helps reduce the effects, but that significantly limits what VR is capable of. And while VR sickness doesn’t effect everyone, it effects a sizable enough percentage that game designers have had to make significant concessions to get around it. And unless this problem can be permanently solved, VR might have its wings clipped before it can even fully take off.

TL;DR

apple's AR

If you’re looking for the next big thing, it’s probably AR. And while we hope that virtual reality will continue to develop into the technology we’ve seen on the big screen, it might be a while before we reach the point of technical feasibility. It has the potential to shake the foundations of the world, but it’s beginning stages are so-so. With continued investment, it will one day take the world by storm. But until then, we expect that the half-way step of augmented reality will have a bigger impact on the lives on consumers.

You might also like:

Why Did Apple Just Buy an Augmented Reality Company?
Headset Technology: Is This an Industry Apple Can Break Into?
Would Apple’s AR Glasses Be Better than Google Glass?

The post Apple’s AR, Not VR, Is the Next Big Thing, appeared first on Apple Gazette.

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