How To: Get a Video Screen Capture from Your iPhone

August 15th, 2009

I just setup my iPhone so I can control it remotely and ultimately perform video captures of my activity on it. It’s a quick and painless process, and here’s a step by step for those interested:

  1. Jailbreak your iPhone/iPod Touch There are various tutorials around that take you through the jailbreaking process. Just make sure to use the latest version of the jailbreaking tools and install Cydia if you’re prompted.
  2. Launch Cydia and install Veency If this is your first time opening up Cydia, you’ll be prompted about what mode you want the program to run in; select ‘User’. Next click on the Sections tab at the bottom, select the Networking section and scroll down until you see Veency. Select it and press Install.
  3. Download and install a VNC client If you’re on OS X, you can download Chicken of the VNC. On Windows, you can use Tight VNC.
  4. Find your iPhone’s IP address On your phone go to Settings->Wi-Fi then click the blue disclosure button for the network you’re logged into. Take note of your iPhone’s IP address, because we’ll need it later. Mine is 192.168.1.50.
  5. Launch VNC and connect to your iPhone Make sure your iPhone is unlocked and logged into your Wi-Fi network. Launch Chicken of the VNC (or Tight VNC) from your desktop, type in your iPhone’s IP address for the Host, and leave the Display at 0, then hit Connect. You should see a prompt on your iPhone asking you to accept or reject the connection. Veency Prompt
    Go ahead and accept.
  6. Control the iPhone You can control the iPhone with left-mouse clicks and the keyboard. You can simulate a press of the ‘Home’ button with a right-mouse click, and you can simulate the ‘Sleep/Power’ button with a middle-mouse click.
  7. Capture the iPhone screen I like to use Screenflow on my Mac to capture screencasts. I’m not up to date on the best screen capturing software for Windows, but I’m sure there are plenty of options out there.

A couple caveats: The frame rate’s not that great, which produces some artifacts during animations, and any app that uses OpenGL doesn’t work at all.

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