iPad Training Tool
Undoubtedly one of the most requested technology classes I’ve been asked to do in recent months is on the iPad in Real Estate. Many agents succumbed to the hype and bought one and then realized that they were using it more as a toy than a tool.
Most never realize it’s true potential and some get frustrated trying to find out, making this topic one of the better attended sessions at most conferences.
One of the biggest dilemmas in teaching an iPad class, or integrating the device into other classes has been “How do I share my iPad screen with everyone?”. There are two options and I’m going to share the easiest and safest first. Then I’ll follow up with how I record videos for YouTube from my iPad.
The iPad has some restrictions because of DRM concerns. Out of the box the iPad will not allow you to send a signal to a TV, etc via the HDMI except for Airplay, some movies and Keynote. For all other onscreen presentations, we’re left with two options.
Option 1: Airplay
Option one requires an iPad2 and iOS5 version or greater to be installed. Additionally, you’ll need an AppleTV box. This option allows for untethered (no wires) mirroring of the iPad on a Projector or Television, so long as they have an HDMI cable connection.
The AppleTV is a small device that you can pickup at Best Buy or other stores for about $99. It connects to the internet wirelessly and then to a TV or projector via HDMI. There’s a lot of stuff you can do with it, including watching Netflix, YouTube, renting movies, etc… but for our purposes, we’re using it to send a mirror image of our iPad to a TV screen or projector. It’s crystal clear and makes it pretty cool to walk around the room with your iPad in hand switching from app to app or just using Keynote to do your presentation.
Once you have Apple TV connected to your TV or Projector, you’ll just need to make sure that your AppleTV and iPad are connected to the same wireless network.
Once those two devices are on the same network, an “airplay” button will appear in the multitask bar, next to the volume and brightness slider on your iPad2. The AirPlay button (shown below) only appears when there is a connection to the AppleTV. To get there on most iPads, just double click the home button and slide the bottom bar to the far left.
Violoa! You’re done. Believe me, it may sound challenging, but after you’ve done it once, it’s a breeze. I’ve found that I can get about four hours of battery life if using all the features and sending the signal to the AppleTV. That’s probably about two hours too long for the attention span of most agents learning technology.
Option Two: Recording the Screen
Option two requires the user to be tech savvy, risky and show a willingness to void your warranty, but the payoff can be big. Option two is for those of us who wish to create some type of video, like what would be posted on YouTube or perhaps sharing the screen with a webinar class on your screen.
The first step is to Jailbreak your iPad2. Now, lets be clear that I am not taking any responsibility for you Jailbreaking your devices, and you should be aware that there are risks. Jailbreaking your device is adding software that hacks your iPad2 system to allow it to use features that the designers did not intend to be used. It voids your Apple warranty and could risk “bricking” your device, which could make it unusable. Countless users Jailbreak their devices without issue and to the best of my knowledge it’s not illegal, simply risky.
Jailbreaking software is free and can be found here, the step-by-step video is below. The process is very easy. I have Jailbroken the iPad solely for the purposes of doing screen demonstrations. I don’t necessarily trusts all the apps in the Jailbroken library.
Once you have Jailbroken the iPad2, you’ll see a new app called “Cydia” on your device. Enter that app and you’ll see a different type of App Store. Some are free and some cost. The one free app that I use is called “Display Out”. There is another called “Display Recorder”, but Display Recorder only allows video recording and no audio. It’s a much clearer recording, but the recording has to then be saved on your compter and you’ll need to do a voice recording over it. Too much trouble and it doesn’t allow sharing to groups. It’s also a bit flaky. Also a note that the Display Recorder app is $5 and it says that it works for the iOS5, yet when you actually purchase the app and install it, it gives a warning that it’s not compatible. I emailed the designer for a refund or work around and never heard back.
Display Out will allow you to send the signal to other devices, such as your Mac or PC screen so that you can share in real time with Webinars or do desktop recordings. It works with Composite, Component, VGA and HDMI cables. All of which you can pickup at your local Best Buy or Apple Store.
Once you have the “Display Out” installed, you can go to Settings and find a new Extension on your iPad2. When you’ve enabled Display Out, you’ll use cables to connect to a device to your computer. I use RockFish A/V Composite iPad Cables ($40) and a Pinnacle Dazzle Composite HD to USB Device ($50) to connect to my Mac. The Pinnacle software is inherently Windows based, so if you’re using a Mac, you’ll also need additional software. I am using Video Glide Capture ($30).
Once you have the hardware in place, your iPad2’s screen will show up on your computer desktop. From there, its your choice as to how you do your recordings and presentations. I use Camtasia for Mac $99 (The Windows version is $299).
The one con to this is that the screen is not crystal clear, but its workable. I haven’t tried the component HD converter box, because it’s considerably more expensive. The reviews I have read say that the signal difference isn’t worth the price.
I’m a huge Apple fan, but the limitations of the iPad that make us have to use such an elaborate setup to promote their products doesn’t make much sense to me. I’m hopeful that they’ll release a stable app the will eventually allow screen recording right from the iPad.
Example of the Finished Product
I hope that you found this tutorial useful in your teaching. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments below.