How to make a video tutorial for your Android app

Finding a way to record a simple video tutorial for my Android app has been quite a challenge. I tried many combination of approaches/tools and I finally found the perfect solution (using a Mac OS X).

So the solution is actually pretty simple: run the app on Genymotion and record the screen with QuickTime player:

Run your app on the Genymotion emulator. You can download the Genymotion Android emulator for free after you registered on the website.
Genymotion is the fastest emulator. It’s actually so awesome it runs my app faster than my real device (Samsung Galaxy Note).

Enable show touches OPTIONAL
Settings -> Developer options -> Show touches

Record your screen using QuickTime player.
Open QuickTime Player and choose File -> New Screen Recording
Hit the red REC button.
Select the area of the screen you want to record (the Genymotion emulator part).
Click Start recording
Stop recording
Save the file as 480, 720, 1080 in a .mov container.

Upload to Youtube
Pretty straight-forward. No need to re-encode or crop or anything. Just upload the video.

Add video to the Google Play Store
Add your youtube url video to the description of your app through the Google Play Developer Console


Approaches that didn’t work out:

Record a smartphone using a camera
It’s a mess. The colours are a mess. You hand is in the way. It’s difficult to position the camera (on a tripod?!) with a correct angle.

Record the screen of the smartphone
I couldn’t find an app that could do so without rooting my device. I also red that rooted that record the screen of a device have a terrible framerate. Then you would still need to transfer the video to your computer.

Record the Android emulator
As you probably know, the Android emulator is SO SLOW. Screen recording the android emulator would make your app look so slow and non-reactive. Genymotion emulator instead is just faster as normal device (or even faster).

Other screen recording program:
I’ve heard from a friend that average screen recording programs are pretty slow (he mentioned 15 framerate on Linux). This is all related to how the OS provide low-level screen recording integration.
Apple Mac OS X is pretty good for this. QuickTime player has screen recording built-in. Screenflow for Mac is a more advanced screen recorder. It allows for example to remove the arrow cursor from the video.

Also read...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>