One of the significant changes in my life over the past few months was building a distance learning solution for my school as we dealt with the effects of COVID–19. One of our critical applications during this process was Zoom for Mac. In using it, even for just screen recording, I realized that Apple could learn a lot about how to evolve QuickTime in the future to better address distance learning.

When I was designing our distance learning solution overnight, I knew I wanted a way for teachers to record themselves and share their screens easily. I didn’t realize that QuickTime somewhat had this feature when we were doing our training.  I didn’t want to ask teachers to bounce back and forth between recording types and then have to worry about merging them back together afterward in iMovie.

When we were exploring the option for live classroom check-ins, I realized that the Zoom app for Mac would accomplish exactly what we were wanting. Teachers could start an empty meeting, hit record, start talking, and when the time is right, share their screen and begin the lesson. Once they are done, all they have to do is end the meeting, and the video autosaves to the Documents folder. Zoom also offers basic screen annotation tools as well, and our teaches have made great use of it.

Evolving QuickTime

So how could Apple take this idea and evolve it to work inside of QuickTime? As I discovered a few weeks later, Apple technically allows you to record your camera and the screen at the same time, it’s a very clunky process. A user must start a video recording, drag it to the top right, force it to float on top, and then start the screen recording. This entire process needs to see a rethinking to make it simpler. I struggled to figure out how to do it, and it wasn’t until I came across a video on YouTube that I realized it was possible.

Apple should build a feature into QuickTime where this process is more straight forward to start with. Right now, it feels like it works as a bug that was never fixed. If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it’s that people are recording a lot of documentation and virtual training at the moment. Better support for overlaying video with your screen would also be a useful tool for technical documentation, troubleshooting, etc. It certainly wouldn’t need to compare to an app like Camtasia, but it would add to the growing benefits of macOS’s built-in software library.

What else could QuickTime do? After recordings are done with this new interface, it should offer to save them right into a specialized iMovie template meant for screen recordings with simplified editing tools. If a user records multiple sessions, iMovie could automatically archive them for later editing and combining together. With some pretty simple integration, QuickTime and iMovie could be a great combination for people needing to create training documentation.

So what do you think? Is expanding QuickTime’s screen recording capabilities something Apple should do? Would you find it useful? I know I love using Camtasia for my screen recordings, but for a lot of users, I think if QuickTime expanded its capabilities, they would find it useful.

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