To start off the new year I wanted to take a look at two apps that allow you to annotate on video.  You may be asking, What does that even mean? or Why would I want to do this?  Well, here’s the answer.  Annotating video allows you to take a video using your mobile device (iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Android tablet or phone) and then pause the video and draw on it.  You can then export out the annotated video so that others can view it and and see your drawings.  These annotated videos can have many uses.

  • Record a student presentation or teaching demonstration.  Use the annotation tools or voiceover tools (not available in all programs) to point out areas for improvement.
  • Record a physical activity and use the annotations to point our body position, areas of good or bad form and areas for improvement.
  • Record a demonstration and use the annotation tools to highlight or point out important steps or specific features of the demonstration.
  • Have students record themselves demonstrating a competency or giving a presentation then have them self-evaluate using the annotation tools and turn the evaluation in to you.
  • Record and evaluate a dramatic performance.

These are just a few ideas.  I’m sure that your imagination can come up with more.

While there are many online and computer-based applications that allow you to annotate video (YouTube and VoiceThread to name a few), this article will focus on two mobile apps:  Coach’s Eye and Coach My Video.  Before we go on, you can tell by the names that these two apps were created with a very specific purpose in mind, coaching and pointing out areas of improvement for athletes.  However, the tools offered by these apps can be used for a myriad of uses in different subject matters so don’t judge an app by it’s name.

Coach’s Eye – iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch ($4.99) and Android ($1.99)

Coach’s Eye produces a video that can contain both drawn and audio annotations.  The final output is a video.  Works best for delayed feedback where the video voiceover will be the primary means of feedback.


Coach’s Eye allows you to record directly into the app using the device’s built-in camera or import videos already on your mobile device.  It uses video only.

Analysis Features:

  • Slow motion playback
  • Drawing tools include rectangle, circle, straight line, free-draw line, free-draw arrow.
  • Has a flywheel or scroll wheel at the bottom of the video allows you to advance the video frame-by-frame.
  • Allows both drawing and voice-over annotation on the video.  This is great for giving voice-based feedback to a student or for the student to use during self evaluation.  One negative is that the only part of the video that is captured in the annotation is what occurs when you click on the “record” button. Therefore you must have the record button pressed for the entire playback if you want to annotate at multiple points in the video.
  • Zoom – if you zoom in on the mobile device during annotation the software captures that zoom.


There are many sharing options however, depending upon the size of the video, not all will work.  You can share via Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Text message, Email or the Camera Roll on the device.   When sharing it appears that you can set it to public or private so that the video is not available for public view, however, I did not test this.

Coach My Video – iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch (free)

Coach My Video produces a still image that contains the drawn annotations.  The final output is an image.  Works best for live or real-time feedback and for comparison feedback.


Coach My Video allows you to record directly into the app using the device’s built-in camera or import videos already on your mobile device.  You can also use still images from the device.  You can also pull videos from the web easily using the URL as long as it’s an mp4 or an mov.

 Analysis Features:

  • Slow motion playback.
  • Drawing tools include rectangle, circle, straight line, free-draw line.
  • When drawing angles the software will calculate the angle.
  • Has both a fly-wheel for fast advance and a frame-by-frame advance button.
  • Has a three-second rewind button.
  • Can run two videos side-by-side for comparison.  You can then control the playback together or separately.
  • Zoom


The sharing options are more limited.  Once you have marked up a frame of the video(s) you press a capture button that will create an image of the video frame.  This image can be emailed or saved back to your mobile device.

Final Thoughts:

So after that which one do I like better?  Well I guess that depends upon what I’m trying to accomplish.  The side-by-side feature in Coach My Video offers some great comparison opportunities especially if you can talk to the student in person while reviewing the video.  Plus the angle calculation opens a few possibilities in math and science.  The voiceover feature of Coach’s Eye offers great opportunities for self-reflection and for instructor feedback that can be viewed at a later date and is probably best for presentation evaluation.  Since Coach My Video is free it’s easy to add them both to your mobile app collection.

Coach My Video:

Coach’s Eye: