OS X Yosemite Beta Can Capture Video Straight From Your iPhone’s Screen

As developers poke and prod their way around the brand new Beta builds of iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite, all kinds of little unannounced features continue to spill out.

The latest unearthed gem: the ability to record video of what’s happening on your iPhone/iPad right into OS X.

If you’ve ever tried to record a video of an app running on iOS, you probably already know: it’s kind of a pain. If you want a direct video feed straight from the device (as opposed to pointing a camera at the screen, which often ends up looking like hot garbage) you’d generally need to jailbreak your device and/or find a third-party solution. Blyeck.

With video previews (finally!) coming to the App Store, developers will need an easier route to capture app video — and it looks like Apple is going to provide one.

As 9to5Mac has noticed, something new happens when you plug an iOS 8 device into a computer running OS X Yosemite: that device’s display pops up as a camera option.

In other words: in any app where you’d normally be able to select a camera feed (like, say, Quicktime or iMovie), you can instead capture a direct feed of whatever’s happening on your device.

It’s easy to imagine more uses for this beyond App Store demo videos. Demoing an app for potential investors over Skype! Recording iOS Lets Play videos for YouTube! Twitch Plays Candy Crush! Since it’s just a standard camera input, you should be able to use the feed just about however you want (assuming Apple doesn’t end up limiting its use for whatever reason.)

The one current catch: the video quality is apparently a bit laggy at the moment — which, presumably, is why Apple didn’t take a second to mention this on stage. With the aforementioned video previews announced and on the way, though, it seems pretty dang likely that they’ll be polishing this one up for Yosemite’s release this fall.