Improve Your App’s Demo Video with a Virtual Finger

More and more webOS developers are starting to include video demos of their apps, which is great.  Unfortunately, capturing your app on video can be somewhat difficult.  One way around this is to use the emulator on your PC to run the app and screen recording software to record the emulator running your app.  While this works great, it has one major limitation: you can see the mouse cursor.  This looks strange to people who are not developers, and it looks even more strange when you view the video on your phone and see a little mouse cursor running around on an app.

To fix this, I created a custom mouse cursor.  It’s a small gray transparent circle that represents a finger interacting with your app.  Most screen recording software will let you change the mouse cursor.  I use CamStudio, and it is a very simple process.  To see it in action, as well as how to set it up with CamStudio, watch the video at the end of this post (if you just want to see what it looks like jump to the end of the video).  If you try this out, be aware that CamStudio will not show the change of your cursor while recording – it will still look like you are using your normal mouse cursor.  The recording, however, will have the custom cursor applied to it.

If your screen recording software does not allow you to change your mouse cursor, you can either switch to CamStudio, or go into your mouse settings and change your cursor there.

One thing that is important to note about using the virtual finger, is to make sure you move it out of the way when it does not need to be there.  Just think of it like a real finger that you need to move out of the way to see or type.

While I have only developed for webOS, this cursor and emulator combo should, in theory, work for iOS and Android app demos as well.  If you give it a shot, leave a comment with your results!

The cursor is free for anyone to use for any purpose.  Download it here.

[direct YouTube link]

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  • app demo videos recorded from the emulator – PreCentral Forums

    [...] demo videos of your apps running on the emulator. You can read more about it and download it here. If you just want to see what it looks like, you can just watch the end of the video [...]

  • Tweets that mention Improve Your App’s Demo Video with a Virtual Finger | neathings —

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by palm, neathings. neathings said: Do you use the emulator to record demos of your @palm #webOS apps? Here's a quick tip on how to improve them – [...]

  • itsFF

    Cursor link seems dead. Could you please re-upload?

  • neathings

    Hey, thanks for the heads up! I recently moved the site to a new server, and somehow that file didn’t make it. It should work now.

  • popl70

    Neat idea.


  • neathings

    I’m glad you liked it!