Ever wanted to perform mobile usability testing on with an Apple iPad or iPhone? Now you can without having to jailbreak you iOS device.
Foraker Labs in Boulder, Colorado, have developed an app that allows you to do screen recordings on a iOS device. Not only does the app record the screen, but it also records audio, and it uses the front facing camera to also record the user.
UX Recorder App
Foraker Labs’ app UX Recorder is available for free in the Apple App Store. The free application will allow you to do a 30 second test recording. You can also purchase a Single Session recording for $1.99, or a 5 Session Pack for $7.99. However, if you want to get the most out of it, you can purchase an Unlimited Sessions upgrade for only $59.99.
That might seem like a lot of money, but after I tested it today, I can honestly say, it is worth it! I will demonstrate this in an example video a bit later in this blog post.
What makes UX Recorder so good? Well, for starters (I am currently using version 1.2.2) not only does the app record the device screen, but it also records user gestures such as taps, swipes and scrolls. On top of that, the app records audio input and also utilizes the front facing camera (iPhone 4+ and iPad 2+) to record the user.
Other features include:
- Export recorded video sessions (H.264-encoded .MOV format) to your computer’s desktop via iTunes, or to Dropbox
- Easily pause and resume session recording.
- Create multiple projects to organize testing sessions.
- Create multiple sessions within a project.
- Create bookmarks to save Web site URLs for use during testing sessions.
- Share bookmarks with iCloud.
UX Recorder v1.3
Hunter Hillegas, a Senior Mobile Developer at Foraker Labs, told me that the team is currently working on version 1.3 of the app.
Version 1.3 will see improvements to the built-in browser so that it can support HTML 5, and the update should also see added support for fullscreen recording (no URL bar anymore).
Why Only Mobile Websites?
Now, this is a issue that I have heard before, and it is something that Foraker Labs has run into, too. On their website, the Foraker Labs team reports that:
Our understanding of Apple’s approval guidelines are that this is strictly prohibited. We will continue to pursue being allowed to add this functionality. In the meantime, we have found it useful at times to prototype iOS apps in HTML, and use these prototype websites for user testing. This is obviously not practical for certain types of apps… but for others is a workable solution that we’ve used at Foraker Labs.
Apple’s tight restrictions are preventing anyone from building such a functionality into an app… officially, because as you can see in a previous iOS usability test recording, it is possible.
iPad Kindle Store Example