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Krister's Blog
krister at hallergard dot com


Last Updated:
2015-06-12

Screen Recording on Android - RECAP

Not too long ago you had to have your Android device rooted, if you wanted to make a screen recording. Not so anymore! Early in 2015 Google introduced Android 5.0 Lollipop, which included an API for screen recording, which does not require root access, and as a result there has emerged a plentitude of new apps, most of them free. Also most of the older established apps no longer require rooting. This is my screen recording journey:

View Video 5 min

TO ROOT ?

My first Android device was a Nexus 7 (2012) Tablet. I could not find any screen recording apps that did not require root. That's where I (still) draw the line, not to root.

But in 2013 I bought a mini-PC Tronsmart MK908, running on Android 4.2 JellyBeen. I more or less had to install a Finless ROM which was rooted, for the device to function. So I tried out about 10 different apps for screen recording. Most of them did not work at all on this device, and several did work but rather badly. But with the SCR Screen Recorder, I could get a decent recording, albeit with a low frame rate. In the spring 2014 I used SCR on the mini-PC for these videos, to demo apps that I would normally use on my Nexus 7 Tablet:

2014-02-28 Falcon Twitter Feed - 1 min
2014-02-28 TapaTalk - 2 min
2014-03-09 XBMC Media Center - 4 min
2014-04-06 Screen Recording on Android SCR - 2 min

and 7 videos about Casting Apps for Chromecast in April 2014 (see left!, except CloudCaster and Allcast v. LocalCast - see below!)

SCR Screen Recording
SCR Screen Recorder on mini-PC 2014


IS THIS ROOT ?

In May 2014 I found Free Screen Recorder NO ROOT aka RECORDABLE, which did not require root, but a rather cumbersome initiation process using the PC (not anymore with the Lollipop API). But I could now demo Nexus 7 apps recorded on Nexus 7 (and later on Nexus 9). I used Recordable for the rest of 2014, recording these videos:

2014-05-07 Screen Rec Android Recordable No Root - 3 min
2014-05-07 Casting Apps - CloudCaster - 3 min
2014-07-02 Tronsmart TSM-G62C Remote - 5 min
2014-09-18 Mobile calls & SMS without SIM 1st Hangouts - 4 min
2014-11-25 Screen Rec Nexus 9 Recordable No Root - 2 min
2014-12-08 Kodi MediaCenter on Nexus 9 - 2 min

Recordable Nexus 9
Recordable on Nexus 9 2014


OR - NOT TO ROOT ?

I stumbled upon the Mobizen-Your Android, Anywhere app. It features a clever Booster Mode, where you can mirror the device onto the PC and control it from there. This feature requires a similarly cumbersome initiation process on the PC, but if you limit yourself to screen recording on the device, it does not require root for Android KitKat and above. During the first quarter of 2015 I mainly used Mobizen, but with Android 5.0 Lollipop being introduced at the end of 2014, I soon found several other apps not requiring root on my Nexus 9 Tablet:

2015-02-05 Screen Recording Recordable No Root - 3 min recorded with Mobizen
2015-02-05 Screen Recording Mobizen No Root - 4 min recorded with Recordable
2015-02-08 Screen Rec AZ Screen Recorder No Root - 1 min recorded with Mobizen
2015-02-22 Galaxy TAB S 10.5 Tablet - 1 min recorded with Mobizen
2015-03-03 Mobizen Booster Mode - 1 min recorded with Recordable
2015-03-04 AllCast Revisited - 4 min recorded with AZ Screen Recorder
2015-03-04 LocalCast Revisited - 6 min recorded with Mobizen
2015-03-07 WhatsApp on PC - 1 min redorded with Mirror Beta

My favourite app is now SCR Screen Recorder - again! - I should add! Like most apps for screen recording on Android, this app has ajusted to the no root situation, and also been develeped further in many respects. I can get higher resolutions and frame rates than on my mini-PC. At first on Lollipop the app was called SCR 5+ and soon came the final version, now called Screen Recorder or ScreenRecorder without the SCR. There is also a new owner of the app, NLL. From April 2015 all my screen recordings on Nexus 9 are done with the SCR Screen Recorder. I have even paid 1.60 for the Pro version, main difference being audio recording and banner during recording:

2015-04-02 Instant Remote - WiFi Mouse - 2 min
2015-04-06 Chrome Remote Desktop - 4 min
2015-04-12 PushBullet - Notifications - 7 min
2015-05-18 AnDOSBox - 3 min
2015-05-22 Smart Keyboard Pro - 2 min
2015-06-12 Screen Rec on Android - Recap - 5 min

Screen Recorder Folder
Screen Recorder Folder
on Nexus 9 Homescreen