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Here’s how to record screen video on Android

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Here’s how to record screen video on Android
Whether you want to shoot a tutorial or a video of you playing Angry Birds, you’d need to capture what happens on your screen in real time and up until now, this was a pretty daunting (read, almost impossible) inside Android. 

The reason was partly the lack of hardware to support enough frames of video recording, but with the jump to 28nm and quad-core Tegra 3 chips, Android has certainly grown to be able to record itself. In Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, Google added the Power and Volume Down key combination for grabbing a screenshot, but did you know that all device running on Android 4.4 KitKat and later can easily capture Android screen video? So, how do we do it?

Here’s how to record screen video on Android
1. The easy way to screencast (Android 4.4 AND root required)

To record a video of your Android screen (or to screencast) is extremely easy if you have a device running on Android 4.4 KitKat that is rooted. All you need to do is to download a free app from the Google Play Store called Rec. (Screen Recorder). 

Rec. is a beautiful, modern app that captures video of up to 1 hour and can even record Android sound (not system sound, though, it only records from the microphone). It runs in the background and you can use it to record gameplay (and games and apps in general) on Android. After you use it to shoot video of your Android screen in action, you can enjoy 30fps video saved to your internal phone storage.

2. Recordable: the no-root way to record screen video on any version of Android, 2.3 Gingerbread and after

While Rec. is our favorite completely untethered way to record Android screen video, Recordable is the one that is most versatile: it works without requiring you to root your phone, and it also theoretically works with any version of Android, 2.3 Gingerbread and after. It does not do miracles - it is still impossible to capture system audio (you only grab mic recordings), but video turns out smooth and perfectly usable, even for game videos.

Here’s how to record screen video on Android

3. The sure way: via Android SDK and ADB (works only with Android 4.4 KitKat and later)

The most sure way to record Android screen video is via Android's own SDK. We've covered the method in full depth, and while it's fully tethered and requires a bit of tinkering, it's the geek's way and if nothing else works, you should try it.

Here’s how to record screen video on Android

4. For earlier Android versions like Jelly Bean: the hard and expensive way (using an HDMI recorder)

To screencast via the afore-mentioned apps, you need the latest versions of Android, but if you want to record screen video on earlier Android device to boost your YouTube Android video blogging career, you might want to invest in an HDMI recorder like the Intensity Pro PCI Express card by Blackmagic. And that’s an investment your wallet will feel - the Intensity Pro card costs $199. Of course, you’d need to also have:

- an HDMI port on your device in order to record,
- a PC/notebook where you can install the PCI Express card.

So how does it work? First you’d need to go through the hackery of installing card itself in your PC/notebook (luckily, there’s support for Windows, Mac and Linux), and once you’re done you can hook up your phone to the card’s HDMI port. Then, you simply run the included capture software to record the high-quality video from the device.

Here’s how to record screen video on Android
The best thing about this method of Android video capture is that you get almost perfect quality videos, ready for YouTube and other social mediums.

So these are the two ways we know yielding Android screen capture videos with decent frame rates. Do you know of an easier, or just alternative way? Feel free to share your experience below.

Note: You can use this how-to tutorial guide for Android screencasting with phones that run 4.4+ like the Samsung Galaxy S5, S4, Note 3, HTC One (M8), LG G3, G2, Moto G, Moto X, Sony Xperia Z2, Z1, Xiaomi Mi3, etc.

  • Options

posted on 03 Apr 2012, 09:31 36

1. mozes316 (Posts: 142; Member since: 30 Sep 2011)

I clicked because of the cat... there, I said it.

posted on 03 Apr 2012, 09:41 7

2. GALAXY-S (Posts: 701; Member since: 07 Jun 2011)

lmao!! soo did i

posted on 03 Apr 2012, 19:13 4

9. rigorimpossible (Posts: 23; Member since: 29 Sep 2011)

so do I

posted on 05 Apr 2012, 20:52 1

10. miles16852 (Posts: 241; Member since: 20 Oct 2011)

me too lol

posted on 09 Jul 2014, 08:17 1

13. jaytai0106 (Posts: 1888; Member since: 30 Mar 2011)

Same here!!! hahaha that's a cute cat :P

posted on 09 Jul 2014, 11:35 1

21. Ashoaib (Posts: 3229; Member since: 15 Nov 2013)

so do I

posted on 09 Jul 2014, 09:26 1

17. hmd74 (Posts: 491; Member since: 31 Jan 2013)

same here :D

posted on 03 Apr 2012, 09:48 4

3. zheking (Posts: 28; Member since: 02 Mar 2012)

I did not notice the cat b4 I clicked

posted on 03 Apr 2012, 09:50

4. Rotate (Posts: 26; Member since: 07 Dec 2010)

great ScreenCast ad...

posted on 03 Apr 2012, 10:29 5

5. GuiltyBystander (Posts: 199; Member since: 05 Mar 2012)

Cute Kitteh.

posted on 03 Apr 2012, 10:39 2

6. paynekiller (Posts: 152; Member since: 24 May 2010)

I've been doing this for years with ShootMe. It's not on the Market (Play Store) any more (the developer removed it) but a simple google search for the .apk file on your phone will bring you to it.
It also needed root access, unless you had a 2.2 EVO 4G or some other phone that had a bug that gave apps root access (long explanation). It's pretty old by now since the developer hasn't been updating it, so I don't know how it would work with those new phones/processors, but it works with my Sprint Galaxy S II just fine.

posted on 03 Apr 2012, 11:15

7. lukasound (Posts: 152; Member since: 16 Nov 2011)

Weird article...

First you say that those weak old processors (before tegra3) couldn't record an 800x480 video, then you continue that the only program we can use doesn't support those new chips and leave us with a 200$ capture card that has nothing to do with the latest chipset, just the hdmi out ability...

A pretty useless article, you could have found a smarter way to advertise ScreenCast.

posted on 03 Apr 2012, 12:04

8. downphoenix (Posts: 3165; Member since: 19 Jun 2010)

I understand screen recording can be pretty intensive (I still have some issues when using fraps on my PC) but is there really no way besides HDMI or having a beast phone? I would have figured they could figure our a way using the standard micro USB, the data transfer on that is fast enough, right?

posted on 17 Apr 2013, 18:49

11. Comk4ver (Posts: 2; Member since: 17 Apr 2013)

@paynekiller, I know that this is an old article but it says screen video not screen shot...

posted on 24 Feb 2014, 00:57

12. Caleb (Posts: 2; Member since: 24 Feb 2014)

For me this on is the mos easy way and the more stable and the more beautiful sotf
if you want Capture/Record Android Screen Without Root


posted on 09 Jul 2014, 08:42

14. AfterShock (Posts: 3698; Member since: 02 Nov 2012)

Where this get dredged up from.

posted on 09 Jul 2014, 08:55

15. Awalker (Posts: 1703; Member since: 15 Aug 2013)

There's comments from 2012 here. If they're going to recycle an article they should at least get rid of the older comments.

posted on 09 Jul 2014, 09:00

16. XperiaFanZone (Posts: 2231; Member since: 21 Sep 2012)

Adding more ways to capture the screen. The Rec app seems decent enough.

posted on 09 Jul 2014, 10:20

18. isprobi (Posts: 707; Member since: 30 May 2011)

This is the kind of thing that drives me crazy about Android. People claim that it can do so much. But it often requires root or some other action that a typical use would not know how to do. So what real use is it other than saying it can be done? This is like a car dealer selling you a car and saying you can have built in GPS but you have to cut the hole in the dash and wire it up yourself. In reality screen video recording is useless until I can buy a phone and click an icon to make it happen with no modifications.

posted on 09 Jul 2014, 10:45

20. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 3689; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)

Oh wow, i would really like to know which platform lets you do screen recording. Hell even which platform gives you this level of hacking and super user access. Such a dumb comment.

posted on 09 Jul 2014, 12:49

22. isprobi (Posts: 707; Member since: 30 May 2011)

That is my point. It is a hack not a feature. So it irrelevant to most users until it becomes a feature of the OS.

posted on 09 Jul 2014, 10:39

19. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 3689; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)

The first one is the best option and it works like a charm.

posted on 09 Jul 2014, 18:03

23. bonsly16 (Posts: 77; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)

What is that DS game the cat is playing?

posted on 10 Jul 2014, 11:14 1

24. jdrch (Posts: 104; Member since: 08 Jul 2014)

You can also record your screen using Xposed + Wanam Xposed module + Busybox. Unlike Rec, it's completely unlimited and free.

posted on 06 Sep 2017, 03:33

25. shelbyfelicita (Posts: 3; Member since: 14 Jul 2017)

Very informative! Thanks for showing clearly how to record Android screen. I have two phones, one Android and one iPhone, for someone who want to record iPhone screen, I'd recommend Acethinker iPhone screen recorder, free and simple to use.

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