If you didn’t grab a copy of the new screen recording app Vidyo that sneaked into the iTunes App Store yesterday, it’s now too late. Apple, not surprisingly, has pulled the app from the store. Vidyo quickly drew a lot of attention, given that screen recording utilities are usually prohibited, and there was some hope that Apple’s policies on the matter had changed.
In case you missed it, Vidyo allowed users to record your device’s screen on iPhone and iPad, even when you weren’t using the app itself. That meant you could also record your homescreen. The app made this possible by simulating an AirPlay Mirroring connection – something that also likely contributed to its removal.
Vidyo was initially spotted by MacStories, who took a chance at downloading the $4.99 app and reported it worked as advertised. According to their tests, Vidyo let you record your device’s audio or the microphone’s audio, video from the device screen or the cameras, and you could output in resolutions up to 1080p and 60fps. The app also included other features that let you import your own audio files to combine with your screen recordings in order to make screencasts.
What made the app clever – but also contraband – was how it used AirPlay. The app let you record your screen by acting like it was using AirPlay Mirroring – users would select Vidyo as the AirPlay source to start the mirroring process, which then triggered the screen recording and, optionally, the audio. When you finished your recording, you would stop AirPlay and the video of your screen recording would be saved to your photo gallery.
As MacStories noted, however, Apple generally frowns on apps that simulate AirPlay connections – having pulled apps that did this in the past. Plus, it bans apps that allow screen recording in general, it seems. A few years ago, for example, a screen recording utility called xRec also slipped into the App Store only to be pulled shortly thereafter.
For app developers in particular, there’s pent-up demand for screen recording utilities that make the process easier than using the QuickTime Player to capture screens from an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. Being able to do the entire process – including editing the screencast itself – using a mobile app is much easier.
As Apple blogger Jason Snell commented, when noting the app’s removal: “How sad is it that the moment we see a groundbreaking app in the App Store, the first response is to speculate how long it will take for Apple to pull it from the store?”
Pretty sad, indeed.
Those who dropped five dollars on Vidyo while it was live will be able to continue to use the app installed on their device, but without an approved App Store listing, they’ll no longer be able to receive updates or support.
Update: Vidyo’s creator has responded to the report, saying noting that he mistakenly used the trademark Vidyo, without realizing it belonged to another company. However, this was not the reason the app was pulled, he claims. Instead, he says the app was pulled because Apple doesn’t want screen recorders on the App Store, not because of using private APIs, its ability to record DRM-protected content.