Apple indirectly confirms plans to add videos to app descriptions in iTunes
A function that hasn’t been discussed at WWDC, a screen-casting feature in OS X Yosemite will allow developers to create app previews to show their app in action by recording the movement on their Mac’s display.Described by Apple as short videos that showcase what’s great about an app, App Previews are meant to help users decide if they should download a certain app or not.
“Customers can watch App Previews directly from your app details page in the App Store. App Previews are composed primarily of device-captured footage of your app to help customers make more informed download decisions,” the company explains.
The App Store currently doesn’t offer general support for videos. Only a handful of apps have videos in their descriptions, and those apps have already received preferential treatment from the Cupertino giant. Now Apple wants to make video demos ubiquitous, almost as if the company has considered our piece of advice from earlier this month.
So how do you create an App Preview in OS X Yosemite? Well, first off you also need to be running iOS 8 on your development device. Another thing you’ll need is the Lightning cable that came with your iDevice. Apple explains the procedure:
“Just connect your device to your Mac using the Lightning connector and it will be automatically available as a video camera. You can capture anything you’re doing on-screen directly to your Mac using QuickTime Player. Edit your captured footage in your favorite video editing app and upload it iTunes Connect—just like your screenshots—to submit it for review along with your next app update.”
Each App Preview is device-specific, so developers will need to pay attention to the formatting rules for the app they’re preparing to demo. In other words, you can’t create a showcase video for an iPhone app using a large iPad display. It will ruin the experience and confuse your customers.
Also, submitting or viewing App Previews will requires an iDevice with at least a 4-inch Retina display. In other words, iPhone 4 and anything below that is officially out of the mix.
Apple notes on its developer site that “You may only submit a single set of App Previews designed for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad against one language localization. App Previews will appear in all countries where your app is available.”
Furthermore, App Previews will appear on the app details page only on devices running iOS 8 and newer. Developers who are looking to leverage this new feature will only be able to submit an App Preview after iOS 8 debuts this fall.