From the time Android came to the market, geeks have been looking for ways to record screencasts and take screenshots. If you like to show off apps, show how to do something neat, or even help troubleshoot issues, being able to share your screen is imperative.
There are apps that make taking screenshots simple and now even many models of Android devices have key combinations for taking screenshots on their own without needing extra apps. That’s all fine and good – but what about recording video screencasts? There are several apps for this, but few are as simple as Screencast Video Recorder.
Note: This app requires you to have root access, and doesn’t work on all devices (for instance, it won’t work on the Galaxy Nexus or the Tegra 2 or 3).
Screencast Video Recorder takes screenshots as well as screencasts and it makes mincemeat of either task. Give it a try and you’ll agree (there’s a free version if you want to give it a short run before purchasing).
Now there is an app on the market that makes screencasting simple; there’s no need to connect your device to your computer or follow any complicated installation processes (besides rooting your phone, which is admittedly a big deal for some people). Using it is as simple as opening the app, tapping the Recording icon in the list of icons along the top, and then pressing the Record button.
After you finish your recording, it’s saved as an MP4 file. You’ll find it in your gallery in a folder called Screencast. Here’s a quick test run so you can see an example:
As someone who loves writing all things about Androids, taking screenshots is often a major part of my day. Some Android models have special ways to take screenshots built right in but many times the button combinations can be a bit complicated. Taking a screenshot with the Screencast Video Recorder, however, is as simple as tapping a shortcut.
Screencast Video Recorder has a couple more tools besides screencasting and screenshooting:
If you’d rather not keep switching out of the app and to your device’s gallery, it has a gallery built right in for you.
If you mostly take screenshots, you probably won’t find much use for this feature above your default gallery app, but if you are more into recording screencasts directly from the app it could come in handy.
The benchmark tester allows you to see what kind of FPS you’ll get with the current settings.
As you know, Android devices come in many different shapes, sizes, and specs. Each device will give you different results and tweaking the settings may help to get the best results as possible. The benchmark tools help with this.
Widgets and Shortcuts
Just to make the app even easier to use, they went and added widgets and shortcuts for easier accessibility. Seriously, you can put a big fat button on one of your homescreens to start and stop recording.
You can easily resize the widget to your liking and when you stop recording, you’re not even bothered by the app opening. The file’s just saved in the gallery like normal.
As far as shortcuts go, if your device has a Search button, you can choose to make a long-press toggle a recording, or take a screenshot.
Recording and screen capturing can therefore be easily done on the fly.
The Screencast Video Recorder app has a packed Settings panel. From there you can make numerous changes, including:
- Video resolution settings: switch between normal and high resolution, but remember that if you have an older device, you might want to stick with norma.l
- Video orientation: choose between Auto (my favorite), No Rotation, Rotating Right and Rotating Left.
- Frames per second: the accuracy of the numbers depends on your device’s performance.
- Timelapse: you can actually record a long video, such as someone drawing on their tablet, and condense it into a much shorter, fast-forward style time lapse video.
- Touch pointer: choose the icon you want to appear as your pointer.
- Default filename: set a prefix for the file names.
- Append date to name: makes it easy to tell when you made the recording later.
- Record audio (Mic): handy if you want to describe what you’re doing as the recording is being made.
There’s also a very similar list of settings for taking screenshots.
For its ability to record what you’re doing on your Android, Screencast Video Recorder really does hit a home run.
There are a few negatives though, as there are with almost any app:
- First, you have to be rooted. For many of us that is no hindrance at all, but for others it’s a game changer. If you don’t have a rooted Android device, you may be in for the search of your life to find an app that records and snaps shots as well as this app does.
- Second, there are some devices that this app won’t work at all on, such as the Galaxy Nexus and Tegra 2/3.
All in all, this Android writer has been heavily relying on this app for quite some time. It works, it’s easy to use, and at $3.99 it is well worth the price. There’s a demo version also in the Play Store that limits the video lengths but at least lets you give it a test run. For me, Screencast Video Recorder is a life saver.