The ultimate guide: How to make preview videos for iOS8 apps

Source: Internet
Author: User

In the last two months, there have been many new things in Apple's world, such as the bigger iphone 6, the wearable Apple Watch,ios8, and the App Store, which is designed to help users find apps better.

When it comes to the App Store makeover, the most interesting thing for designers, developers and marketers is the video preview feature. Officially called App Preview (app previews), it's now officially in the IOS8 App Store. Naturally, there has been a wave of designers and developers making preview videos of their products and uploading them via itunes Connect. Frankly, if you have a product of your own, it's time to start thinking about doing the same thing.

from the official design and production specifications

As with screenshots, Apple provides some official design specifications for app preview videos. The video is also subject to an Apple audit after uploading, which means that if you break the rules in the preview video, you will be rejected as well, so it is recommended that you read the official specifications first.

Technical Specifications

Currently, we can upload two preview videos for each app, one for the iphone and the other for the ipad.

Technically speaking, you need to follow these guidelines:

    • The length is between 15-30 seconds
    • Compression via H. mpeg or proress 422 (HQ)
    • 30 frames per second (30p)
    • The final file does not exceed 100MB
    • The extension can be. mov,. mp4, or. m4v

The resolution specification is as follows (in pixels):

In addition, uploading videos is based on the following platforms and software:

    • An imac or MacBook with OS X Yosemite installed
    • Safari browser
Design Specifications

Some of the content in the specification is not easy to explain because they are more like "suggestions" than "rules". Keep in mind, however, that Apple officials will use these "recommendations" as a basis for assessment, and that adherence to these rules will help you avoid unnecessary hassles.

There are many design specifications, we might as well take a look at the summary:

    • Focus on the three most important selling points
    • Demo product experience with a video screen
    • Do not allow the hand to block the interface during demo operation
    • Don't fake it by editing videos.
    • The content should be at least suitable for people over 4 years of age
    • Do not use material that you do not own copyright
    • Do not rely on the introduction of text
    • Targeting target user groups and their languages
    • Do not include price and operator information in the video
    • Do not use content or footage that is likely to "expire"
    • Record actual sound from your app
    • Use high-quality background music and voiceover
    • Choose a suitable cover
focus on the three most important selling points

Of course, you don't have to rigidly pick out three selling points in a literal sense, but focus on not trying to do everything in a 30-second video, because users simply can't understand and remember so many things.

On the other hand, while Apple allows you to use 30 seconds of real-world video directly, do not put this 30 seconds all to demonstrate a functional process, because it will be boring, and may cause users to miss some other important things.

Users will typically download your app because of their focus on one or three of the selling points in the product. The selling point in design? Or some kind of new technology? Or is the optimization of the traditional interface pattern improved? Pick out the most attractive highlights and show them in a simple montage, and you really don't need to have a professional video production capability to do this.

In addition, you do not necessarily need to show the product logo, app icon, or "Download on the app Store" logo. If it is really necessary, try to make some style, for example, through some form of animation to display logos and icons, to give users a more positive impression, strengthen the brand recognition effect. There are even companies that specialize in providing this service.

Demo product experience with a video screen

Apple really doesn't want the demo video to look like a naked ad. They want you to be more "honest" by applying yourself. Use the actual app recorder instead of showing people what they're doing with their phone, or the process of tapping into the app from your phone's main screen.

For the game, there is the possibility of trickery, such as only a few cut-out animation. Apple also knows this, and they suggest that you try to keep some of the games in the process of recording the screen.

do not allow the hand to block the interface during demo operation

Sounds easy? But for developers, it's not easy to deal with Apple. The application interface in the demo video should not be blocked by the operator's finger, as far as possible through the front of the screen to demonstrate, if you really want to show the interaction, you can add visual cue elements in the recording screen, for example, through the gradual fading out of the ring represents the touch point.

don't fake it by editing videos.

This is a very serious matter. Don't use deception to make people feel that your app is better than it really is. In addition to the moral factors, this method will give you a very negative evaluation of the product, one star is the user used to vent the anger of the means.

Also remember to display the content according to the actual resolution of the app, not to zoom in. In addition, do not cut the transition effect so that users mistakenly think that the actual application has this effect.

the content should be at least suitable for people over 4 years of age

Anyone can access the app Store. I've seen 3-year-olds working on the ipad through a variety of sophisticated gestures, as if he had already started using the device in his mother's belly. Once you know that there is such a thing, you know why Apple is worried about the right people for the content.

Quoting the official words, you should avoid "objectionable content, violence or adult themes, as well as swearing." ”

do not use material that you do not own copyright

I guess it's easy to understand. Respecting copyrights and trademarks is a must, whether in the App store or anywhere else. Do not use music, videos, logos, images, characters, etc. that you do not own in the video. It's stupid to be rejected by the App Store because of this problem.

Apple officials cite an example: "If your app has access to the itunes Library, you can only use music that you've created or that has certain authorizations in the preview video." ”

do not rely on the introduction of text

At least for now, App preview video doesn't support localization, and the same video is accessible to users worldwide. If you must read the text in the video to understand the features of the product, then you block the world's non-English users outside the door.

If you must use text to introduce, also pay attention to several points. There are many people in the world who speak English. Unless your product is locked in a particular country or language, it is good to use English. Keep the introductory text short and easy to understand, because the text appears in the video, so pay attention to readability and make sure it appears long enough.

targeting target user groups and their languages

Maybe your product is a game, there are players all over the world, but the biggest player groups are in China, and most of them are women. If this is the target user group you are aiming for, study the form of advertising they are accustomed to and the features they love, and then make a preview video that will be most acceptable to Chinese female players.

do not include price and operator information in the video

Apple wants you to use features, not prices, to entice users to download apps. Frankly, in today's App Store, a simple free or low-priced strategy may not be much of a concern, since 90% of downloads are focused on free apps. Moreover, the user can directly see the price information under the icon of your application, no need to be described in the video.

The only place you might need to display price information in a video is a description of the in-app purchase, and you can try to show the information in the disclaimer section or at the end of the video. In addition, Apple recommends similar processing for situations that include subscription or account sign-in functionality.

What if this information is not explicitly displayed? The product may be rejected by Apple. Even if the audit is passed, it is likely to lead to a poor user rating. These results are obviously not what you want to see.

But what if there is a Christmas promotion in your home app? In fact, most users will not download the app because your baby has a 50 percent discount. Speaking of this point ...

do not use content or footage that is likely to "expire"

It takes a lot of time (and money) to make a good preview video. Why, then, should it be added to the validity period? Everyone loves Christmas, but only December. If some users found your app in following year February and saw a video of a Christmas theme, would that be a bit absurd? Not only that, it will make the user think you haven't updated the product for months.

Do not use any content or footage that is likely to expire unless you are sure that you will be updating your app and videos soon after a specific date. Of course, if your app is about Christmas or other holiday themes, that's the exception.

record actual sound from your app

As mentioned earlier, to avoid using finger manipulation in video to demonstrate the interactivity of a product, use a recording screen. But only by visual presentation, may be slightly thin. As a result, the actual sound effects during the operation become more important for demonstrating the interactive feedback characteristics.

use high-quality background music and external sounds

Although not necessary, it is not very difficult to find a suitable person to help you with some short voiceover commentary. However, as mentioned above, the same nature of the text, do not rely too much on interpretation. Of course there is a point to admit that if done well enough, then the voiceover can give users a very good first impression.

You can do it yourself, but use high-quality equipment to record in places where noise can be kept as low as possible, rather than a small 5-dollar microphone. Unless you are really expert in recording, it is recommended that you write your own scripts and outsource them. Remember not to make a voice-over style too much like a TV ad.

Whether or not you use voiceover to explain, background music is always what you need to think about. If you have original or authorized songs, you may want to use them. Using music with video, you can set a tone for the product, allowing users to perceive the approximate experience style before downloading. For commentary and music, make sure the sound quality is crystal clear, with full effect testing.

If you don't have original music, be sure to consider whether the style is appropriate for your product when you choose to authorize music. After all, even owning a copyright does not apply to small, fresh-style shopping applications.

Choose a suitable cover

The previous article focused on the video itself, we also forgot a small detail: The video does not automatically play, users need to click on the cover to be able to watch. So we want to make sure that they have a desire to click on the cover.

We can call this picture a cover or a poster. It should come from the video and look like a screenshot with a play button.

When uploading a video, ITunes connect automatically picks a frame from the video as the default cover, but you can also choose your own. Don't forget to do it, it will play an important role in the improvement of conversion rate. If you really forget, and the app has passed the review, be prepared to re-upload a new package, even if it's just to replace a cover.

making a preview video

Having seen all of these technical and design specifications, it's time to create your own preview video.

Apple has made recommendations about how to make it, and you have many other options. Next, I'll show you all the possible ways I've explored. Whether it's an individual developer or a corporate group, try making a preview video of your product. Read on to see which way to make the best fit for your time and budget details.

Low budget

Independent developers and small studios should not miss the party. You may need to take some time to learn about the authoring software, but you will still be able to create great app preview videos with your own power.

use Apple's own software to record the screen

This is probably the simplest way to make a recording screen. OS X Yosemite presets A new device recording feature to help designers and developers create app preview videos. In addition, you need an iOS device with a lighting interface and a Retina screen, and the IPhone will be eligible for iOS 8;iphone 5 and beyond.

Here are the official instructions from Apple:

    1. Use the lighting cable to connect your iOS device to your Mac.
    2. Open the QuickTime Player on your Mac.
    3. Select File > New screen Recording.
    4. In the next window, select your iOS device as the camera and microphone input source.

Then you can start recording.

use third-party software to record screens

Another simple and easy choice is TechSmith appshow. The new software is also dedicated to the production needs of the app preview video, as well as iOS 8 hardware devices and Macs running Yosemite, and, of course, the lighting cable. In addition, the software comes with a simple video editing tool, so you don't need to use other software to edit the video, except to record the screen like QuickTime. Currently TechSmith Appshow is still in beta testing, and you can take the test for free.

Of course, you can also use some of the other more mature screen recorder software on the market. Previously, their primary purpose was to record videos from other devices and play them on a TV or Web page.

Why use this kind of tool? Reflector's team told us that the screen video quality projected by airplay was higher because "the number of video frames recorded by USB connection was lower". Techsmish and apptamin have also verified this by airplay video on Yosemite to record better results, including the iphone 6 and plus.

So how do these third-party software work? They are themselves equivalent to airplay receivers, which can be used to put the iOS device's screen directly on a PC, Mac, or Android for recording. Make sure these devices are on the same network and then open the Control Panel on your iphone or ipad to activate airplay.

Here are some of the more representative third-party software:

record The iOS simulator's screen directly on your Mac

If none of the above works for you, there's another trick: Record your Mac's screen directly. However, the quality of the video recorded in this way is not optimal and the frame number is not stable, you may need to improve by post-editing.

The way to do this is to load and run your app on Xcode, and then record the video in the iOS simulator with the following software:

editing a video of a recording screen

After you finish recording your screen, you'll need to edit it, cut out the useless stuff, and concentrate on the essence for 30 seconds. In the export aspect, you should remember to refer to the technical specifications given in the previous article.

You need some decent tools for editing, and here are some things to consider:

If you use final Cut Pro, you can take a look at Apple's official instructional video. More video editing tools can be found in the list given by Mashable.

Some of these software, such as Camtasia, will have a set of editing tools built in. If you use these software, you need to be aware of whether these tools are exported in accordance with the requirements of the technical specifications described earlier.

High Budget

If money is not a problem, and time and quality are your most concern, then the best way is to outsource. These companies can provide a one-stop service, including screen recording, video editing, commentary and so on, to give you peace of mind:


The preview video is obviously more difficult to produce than the screenshot, but the higher the cost, the more opportunities it can bring. A well-crafted preview video can be another standard for a good app, and users will be more aware of the products that provide preview video.

Preview video is a good helper for products that struggle with conversion rates or are eager for more opportunities to showcase their functionality. Game products are easy to capture by screenshots, as they are very cool, and for productivity and efficiency applications, it is not so easy to attract people. Take some time to create a preview video that will help you better showcase your product.

There will be more and more designers and developers into the preview video production work, do not lag behind. Of course, other aspects such as application icons and static screenshot optimization are also to be taken into account, these are important means to increase the download volume.

The ultimate guide: How to make preview videos for iOS8 apps

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