When it comes to walking somebody through how to do anything on a mobile phone or tablet, being able to show them the screen as they’ll see it is invaluable. There are quite a few options if you’re looking for a screen recorder for Android, but videos are bulky and don’t allow the recipient to have their own experience.
Enter Blrt, the free collaboration platform that allows you to talk, point and draw over images, documents and websites – including screenshots of anything on your Android device. The final recording is up to 50x lighter than video, meaning it loads faster and eats up less data. As if that weren’t good enough, your recipients can also have their own experience – pausing and then zooming, panning or flipping between images – when they play back your Blrt on their mobile device.
Here’s how to use Blrt as a screen recorder for Android:
Using Blrt as a screen recorder for Android
Step 1: You’ll need screenshots of every step. The most efficient way to do this is to actually go through the process yourself and take a screenshot of every step along the way. This will ensure that you don’t miss anything in your explanation and is also a nice ‘dry run’ through the Blrt you’re about to record.
We took these screen shots from a Motorola Nexus, which is achieved by holding down the sleep/wake and volume down buttons at the same time. If you’re unsure of how to take a screenshot on your device, check out our blog post on the topic:
Most people already know how to capture screen on their mobile device, but not many people know that you can easily add your voice, gestures and mark-ups when you capture…
Step 2: Your screenshots will save to the default location on your device. This might be called your ‘Gallery’ or simply ‘Photos’ and screenshots might save into a separate folder.
Step 3: Launch Blrt. This button will take you to your mobile app or Blrt Web, depending on which device you’re currently using:
Step 4: Now we see how Blrt becomes a screen recorder for Android. Start a new Blrt by tapping the green icon in the bottom right corner of the screen (it has the Blrt logo and a ‘+’ symbol). If you’re in the web app, look for it in the top right corner of the ‘Inbox’ tab.
Step 5: You want to Blrt the screen captures you took, so select them from your gallery. It’s the second option on the list of media.
Step 6: Select the images you’d like to talk, point and draw over. Repeat this process until you have all of the media you’d like to use (don’t forget you can also include PDFs or websites!).
Step 7: Once you’ve added all of the media you need and put everything in the right order, tap ‘next’ in the top right corner of the screen to begin recording. You’ll see some prompts if you’ve never made a Blrt before. Talking, pointing and drawing is actually as easy as selecting the tool you’d like to use and getting underway but feel free to scope the tutorial if you have any doubts – it’s really good (disclosure of bias: we wrote it).
Step 8: Now you’re ready to hit the red ‘record’ button to talk, point and draw over your screen capture. Don’t forget to zoom and talk and point, to explain exactly what you’re thinking.
That’s it! You’re done! It’s easy to see why Blrt is the best alternative screen recorder for Android.
Distributing your Blrt
Now that your Blrt is recorded, it will upload to the cloud immediately or the next time you’re online. From there, you have a few convenient options to get it seen by the people you recorded it for:
Add the recipient(s) to the conversation
You can type in any email address to invite that person to the conversation. The benefit here is that they can then reply to you directly either with the built-in text-based messaging or with a Blrt reply.
Share the Blrt directly or publicly
If your Blrt is a one-off demonstration that doesn’t need any following-up, you can send a link directly to recipients (they’ll get a link that takes them directly to the Blrt) or you can make the Blrt public. Making the Blrt public will allow you to embed it in any web page or, if you’ve only shared the link, it can be viewed by anybody with that link (whereas sending the link directly will only allow that particular recipient to view it).
How to demonstrate your Android screen captures
Now that you know how to use Blrt as an alternative screen recorder for Android, we’ll share a few general tips about how to effectively make your point.
Work to a script
One of the best things about using Blrt for your demonstration is that it’s not public speaking! This means you won’t be docked any marks for looking at your notes while you go – so you should do so!
Outline the demonstration you’re recording so you leave no detail unmentioned. This kind of advance preparation will also help you ensure everything gets presented in a logical order. Ever explain a process to somebody and suddenly remember you left out a really important setup step? Should’ve planned ahead, man.
Consider your audience
You’re a whiz at what you’re showing off (which, we’re guessing, is the reason you’re the one doing the demonstrating in the first place). However, you’ll quickly lose your audience if you don’t operate on the assumption that they don’t know anything about what you’re walking them through.
Now, this is not to say you need to describe every little detail. You can assume they know the basics (like how to navigate the device) but if your demonstration will go from helpful to useless in a hurry if you start using jargon or acronyms as you describe the process.
In short: always err on the side of your audience not knowing what something means. The lowest common denominator is your target in these instances.
Don’t skip any steps
This follows from the first tip but is worth iterating separately: don’t skip any steps in your demonstration.
You think everybody knows how to copy and paste on their device? Well, not everybody does (hence: we included a link in this very post to another post with more detail on how to do just that).
If you decide to forego explaining any process, you’ll lose some portion of your audience and they won’t be able to keep up with your demonstration without referring to another source.
Save shortcuts for the end
Who doesn’t love a shortcut? Processes are becoming simpler and simpler as mobile technology advances, and ingenious “hacks” make already-easy processes even quicker (or automated, in some instances). That said, it’s best to show the whole process and then include your shortcuts as tips at the end of your demonstration.
Knowing shortcuts around certain things without understanding why a shortcut has been taken can be detrimental to learning. It’s like memorising your multiplication tables without understanding how multiplication actually works. Sure, it’s easier to just remember that four times four is sixteen, but it’s also important to understand the process of multiplication for those moments when you need to math out an answer not on your memorised table.
So to extend this analogy: remember to “show your work”. You never know if your viewers will need to adapt the process you’re demonstrating for another purpose. In that case, they’ll be glad to know the full process.
Open up the floor to questions
One of the best parts about using Blrt is that anybody in the conversation can reply either with text or a Blrt of their own!
When recording a Blrt reply, your audience will be able to speak over the same media included in your Blrt. This makes it simple for them to exclude all but the most relevant media and ask their question.
Adding somebody new to the conversation a few months later? They’ll be able to see your original presentation as well as the ensuing conversation. It’s like having a permanent FAQ attached to your demonstration.
Embedding the Blrt on a website? Just be sure to activate comments to get that conversation going.
TIP: You can make a Blrt public (and thus embeddable) and have it live in a private conversation AND the public embed without either effecting the other. This means you can be having a private conversation about the Blrt behind the scenes even while it’s facing the public. What other screen recorder for Android lets you do that?
Don’t be afraid to revisit previous steps
Instead of just saying “as we saw in step three,” don’t be afraid to actually page back to step three to allow for a visual reminder. This is where Blrt becomes a powerful alternative screen recorder for Android.
This is easy-as in Blrt. Simply pause the recording when you’re ready to “flip” back, page back to the previous media, then hit record. When you’re ready to return to where you were, repeat the process. So long as you’re paused when “flipping” through media, the final recording will cut cleanly rather than forcing your audience to watch you page through media.
See the above tip about avoiding shortcuts for an explanation of why this is useful!
Get started demonstrating now
You’re now across the best alternative screen recorder for Android (you legend, you) so it’s time to get started!
Click the button below to start your Blrt. Don’t have Blrt? No worries – the button will take you to the relevant app store for your device or Blrt Web on Google Chrome.
Blrt helps you get your point across quickly by allowing you to talk, point and draw over images, documents and websites. The resulting video-like recording is called a Blrt.
Your Blrts require much less bandwidth than video and can be shared with anyone on mobile or desktop. This makes Blrt ideal for both collaboration and the creation and sharing of dynamic content, as public Blrts can be embedded into any webpage.
Once recorded, Blrts are stored in the cloud and are exchanged with others in a conversation-like fashion. A record is kept of the exchange, and new parties and media can be added at any time.
Blrt shifts time and place, allowing users in a conversation to participate in their own time. In an era where activity-based working and distributed teams are commonplace, Blrt is revolutionising the way people interact to get things done.