How to record your screen on Android 4.4 KitKat
We've been testing the new built-in feature ever since we got our hands on an early build of Android 4.4 KitKat, and we're bringing you this guide so that you can realize the full potential of Google's new OS, should you wish to do so.
Let's get to work
Before we start, a few notes. To start off, there's as of yet no app to do this, and the functionality appears to be aimed more at developers than the everyday users. But, no matter – it's simple enough – and you'll do just fine even with minimal technical knowledge. There are just a few things you need to do (download) first.
- The Android SDK package. The Mac version is under the 'Download for Other Platforms' header. I suggest an install in your system partition.
- ADB drivers. If you don't have those installed, you can download the Universal ADB Drivers package, courtesy of CyanogenMod's Koush.
- Both are completely straightforward installs, no sweat.
- Troubleshooting at the bottom of the guide
Head back and enter Developer options and tick USB debugging and okay the prompt. Slide down the notification panel and make sure your USB storage is set to Camera, and not Media device (MTP). This will prompt Android to request your consent to authorize your computer's specific fingerprint, tick 'Always allow from this computer' and agree to it, otherwise the tether won't work.
- ADB drivers not working. This is actually more common than you'd think. It's an especially messy affair if you already had these installed, and it's usually a good idea to just do a full uninstall of any related assets, reboot and then re-install the drivers I provided above. Here's how to do so efficiently:
- Fire up Device Manager (type it in the Start bar, like before), while your device is connected to the computer and has USB debugging on. Find and right-click > uninstall any device's driver that resembles yours (search thoroughly).
- Download USBDeview from here, fire it up and once again uninstall anything that resembles your device or manufacturer. (Don't worry, these will get re-installed as you connect any device on their own in 99% of the time on Windows 7 and above).
- Reboot your computer. Even if it takes 5 minutes to boot back up. Seriously.
- Go through Koush's Universal ADB Driver installation again
- Try and see if that helped
- If ADB works as in Step 5, but you can't seem to connect to your devices, run 'adb devices' and see what comes out. If you don't see your device, go through the procedure above. If you see it, but it says 'unauthorized', then you need to change your USB storage settings to Camera, instead of Media device (MTP). It will give you a prompt to authorize your computer's RSA key fingerprint, as seen in Step 2.
- For other issues, you may try your luck down in the comment box. Either the community or I (in my free time) will try and help you out.
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1. dorianb (Posts: 386; Member since: 24 Oct 2012)
Cool. Step-by-step instructions for those that are technologically mediocre.
5. Deaconclgi (Posts: 263; Member since: 03 Nov 2012)
None of us were born with the knowledge that we have today, we all had to learn along the way.
18. Knowles2 (Posts: 2; Member since: )
Some of us just don't like to muck around with stuff or wonder through Android documentation,so when we need to do something, nice easy to follow instructions is much appreciated, especially when I just want things to work first time after a hard day of coding, and especially when you got a schedule to meet.
So nice clear instructions that guide you through the process is very much welcome. An hopefully someone will slap together a little windows program to do it even faster in the future. .
2. scriptwriter (Posts: 396; Member since: 13 Nov 2012)
This all seems a bit long winded. When i first read of this feature, i thought it would be along the same lines doing a screenshot. Press two buttons-> click-> done.
Now this concept seems stupid. Im disappointed Android.
3. seavsea (Posts: 3; Member since: 25 Mar 2013)
It may seem stupid to you, but the practical application is that if you have a question about any given thing on android, it is now much easier for someone to create a video to show you how to use said feature. Not the most useful for people like you, i suppose, but as someone that works in the cellphone industry, who does almost exclusively tech support here in our store, this feature is awesome, especially for my smartphone class!
4. Chris.P (Posts: 270; Member since: 27 Jun 2013)
As I mentioned in the guide itself, it really isn't. This is just a really broken-down-to-pieces approach to it, so that even those with zero technical background can get it to work.
Once you get the hang of it it's really a matter of connecting your device, popping a command prompt and inputting a single line of code. Far less practical than firing an app, of course, but still fairly simple.
6. razmoket13 (Posts: 2; Member since: 07 Nov 2013)
There's a mistake at step 6 regarding the command to enter :
it's not : 'adb shell screencapture /sdcard/INSERT-FILE-NAME.mp4'
but rather : 'adb shell screenrecord /sdcard/INSERT-FILE-NAME.mp4'
7. razmoket13 (Posts: 2; Member since: 07 Nov 2013)
Also at step 5, instead of entering just "adb" to verify that everything's OK, it much better to enter the command "adb devices". That way, you can see immediately if the device is indeed reachable (and you avoid the long useless gibberish).
8. abhijithkumar.nit (Posts: 44; Member since: 09 Apr 2013)
Shouldn't google have made it even more simpler? Just like taking a screenshot or something!?
16. miguely (Posts: 2; Member since: 05 Jan 2014)
I've followed these instructions and made sure I did everything correctly, but get an error that says "unable to create video/avc codec instance". When I use a file explorer on my phone I do find the mp4 video file but it does not play. Any help is appreciated. Thanks in advance
17. miguely (Posts: 2; Member since: 05 Jan 2014)
I forgot to mention that I'm trying this on my Nexus 4
19. Knowles2 (Posts: 2; Member since: )
Thanks for these easy to follow and accurate instructions. Much appreciated.