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ScreenFlow 5 review: The Mac's best screencasting app gets better with iOS capture

Christopher Breen | Dec. 1, 2014
If you're in the business of creating screencasts or Mac-based video demos, there's a very good chance that you're already using Telestream's $99 ScreenFlow. With the latest update, the app is sure to gain a new group of supporters--iOS developers. And it will because Apple is encouraging these developers to submit app previews--video captures of their apps in action. It happens that this latest version of ScreenFlow not only lets you capture video directly to a Mac running Yosemite from an iOS 8 device that bears a Lightning-connector, but also lets you add touch callouts--overlays that mimic finger taps and swipes.

In addition, the latest version includes a Batch Export feature that allows you to queue up multiple ScreenFlow documents and export them using the same export preset.

If you've used ScreenFlow in the past and are accustomed to tweaking its export settings you'll find that they're now more limited. To make ScreenFlow 5 available on the Mac App Store, Telestream had to remove any QuickTime export options, as QuickTime has been deprecated by Apple in favor of AV Foundation. QuickTime APIs can no longer be used when submitting apps to the App Store, thus the change. In practice, this means that when you choose the Lossless — ProRes with Alpha preset, your only encoder options are ProRes 422 HQ and ProRes 4444.

The bottom line

I've been producing screencasts for a long time and spent a number of years doing so with iMovie. I switched to ScreenFlow around the turn of the decade and can't imagine switching back, particularly now that ScreenFlow 5 supports direct recording from some iOS devices and lets me add callouts to make my actions clearer to the viewer. As you've read, I have a couple of quibbles but they pale in comparison to the benefits this app provides. If you're producing screencasts on your Mac and not using ScreenFlow, it's high time you did.


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