Android 4.4 finally added native screen recording, but it's only accessible via an ADB command on unrooted devices. There are a few apps that extend that functionality with root access, but Rec. might be the best of the bunch right now. This app includes bitrate adjustment, record times up to 1 hour, ending recordings manually, and more.

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The app has a free mode with most of the basic features if you just need to take a quick screencast. Simply set the timer and bitrate, then choose the filename and go. The app gives you 10 seconds to get where you need to be before the recording starts. By default it records in portrait mode, but you can set it to rotate the video too. You can end the recording early with the button in the app or by turning the screen off – a pro upgrade adds shake to stop functionality.

That's just the start of the extras you get with a $1.59 pro license. You can disable the ongoing notification while recording, change the countdown, and automatically show touches. You'll also have access to upcoming features like a widget and presets. Because this is native Android 4.4 functionality, there's no sound. However, the included screen record feature offers very high quality video and few bugs.

Above is the developers demo video and below is one we made at half the bitrate – still looks pretty good. The pro license is on sale, so you might want to jump on it. It has only been tested on a stock rooted Nexus 5 and Nexus 7, but may work fine on more devices.

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play. http://goo.gl/WQIXBM

  • Mehmet Fatih

    it's not compatible with Galaxy S2 or galaxy S4 mini, is there a reason?

    • http://twitter.com/Rodrigost23 Rodrigo Tavares

      Does the S2 even have KitKat?

      • http://revanmj.pl/ Michał Jakubowski

        Yes, via CM11 and other ROMs

        • http://mobers.org/ psydex

          But 10.2 is still in nightly!?

          • http://revanmj.pl/ Michał Jakubowski

            That doesn't stop people from making unofficial build like this one http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2523604

          • ithehappy

            CM is always nightly.

          • http://mobers.org/ psydex

            Yea but 11 is still unofficial and a lot of features ain't working entirely

    • MJ

      Neither of those phones have Android 4.4 aka Kit Kat released for them as of yet. Did you read the post? This app adds functionality to Kit Kat's native screen recording feature.

      • squiddy20

        This app requires root. Therefore, only users with rooted phones would be able to use this. Further, the S4 Mini and Galaxy S2 have some working KitKat based custom ROMs (which require root to install). Therefore, it could work on the aforementioned devices. Seriously, think just a little outside the box here.

        • Screen recording has some issues with Exynos devices.

    • HolyFreakingCrap

      Use Xposed Framework with the Gravitybox module. It has screen recording stuff and best of all, its free.

      • Mario E Hdez

        How do you screen record with gravity box?

      • http://jordanhotmann.com/ Jordan Hotmann

        This is what I use. Only downside is that it doesn't automatically toggle touches.

  • Szymon

    Probably no kitkat update. On cm11'ed s2 it let's me to install this app.

  • http://www.Nave360.com Sebastian Gorgon

    Glad this app is getting recognised, bought the Pro version, just hoping he adds sound recording (at least on 4.4.1 or 4.4.2 i don't remember which)

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Wait, are you saying 4.4.1 or 4.4.2 brought sound recording to adb screenrecord? Because I don't think that's the case. As for screenrecord itself, it was added in 4.4.

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/cody-toombs/ Cody Toombs

        I don't remember seeing it in any of the developer changelogs. All the same, it wouldn't be too hard for the developer to add an audio feature by simply recording an MP3 and muxing it with the video after recording is complete.

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

          That's a great idea.

      • http://www.Nave360.com Sebastian Gorgon

        I maybe wrong, but Koush was only able to add sound recording on 4.4.1 https://plus.google.com/110558071969009568835/posts/TTjxXdoUayK or at least he limited it to 4.4.1 but then that makes no sense.

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

          That needs tethering to PC though, but yeah, I wonder how he does it. I'll ask him to chime in.

          • http://www.Nave360.com Sebastian Gorgon

            For me it only requires root, never had to tether to PC for it to record audio. But do ask him, it's an interesting topic.

          • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

            I mean it would need that without root.

            Either way, Koush's solution doesn't use adb screenrecord, so really the argument doesn't apply.

    • Ray

      According to a reply to a comment/review posted on Google Play, audio will be added soon.

  • http://meatcastle.com/ Youre My Boy Bloo

    WTF? Why is the Moto X not supported?

  • Merri Mogridge

    Wow this works great on my Moto G!

  • https://play.google.com/store/apps/developer?id=iWizard Bikram Agarwal

    What are the differences between this one and Mirror? I know Mirror records sound too.
    This apps play store page mentions features which are in the Pro version only; but doesn't clearly mentions what the free version has.

    • Guest

      ▪ No need to be tied to your computer while recording.
      ▪ Longer screen recording – record for up to 1 hour.
      ▪ A beautiful user interface – no more messing with the command line/terminal.
      ▪ Automatically show screen touches for the duration of your recording.
      ▪ Customisable countdown timer so that you can get your screen recording set-up perfectly.
      ▪ Shake your device, or simply switch your screen off, to stop your recording early.

      Those are clearly listed as being Pro features. Now, deductive reasoning would lead you to make the following inferences regarding the Free version.

      Must be tied to computer while recording.
      Shorter screen recording - less than 1 hour.
      No countdown timer.
      No shaking device or simply switching screen off to stop recording early.

      And that's all I got for now.

    • Kavi Dhokia

      * The free version limits the recording time to 5 minutes - which is still longer than if you use adb!
      * You still get a countdown timer, but can't adjust it.
      * No shake to stop recording.
      * No presets.
      * Less control over notification settings.

      It's probably easier to just try the free version to see what it can do, you've got nothing to lose!

      • https://play.google.com/store/apps/developer?id=iWizard Bikram Agarwal

        Thanks Kavi for the details. I'm refraining from installing an app unless I really really want to. I've noticed that even after I uninstall an app, if I go to that app's page later, it still says "Installed". And the "My Apps" page doesn't let it go; even after I remove it from "All apps" in play store on my phone.

  • RichA

    Nexus 5 4.4.2 all video files are zero byte files. Absolute do not buy.

  • Kavi Dhokia

    Hello! App developer here.
    First of all, thanks very much for the kind review.
    Secondly, there is an update coming tomorrow that will allow you to save presets so that you don't have to keep entering new values for the parameters.

    Apologies if this is a little incoherent, currently celebrating New Years!
    Happy New Year everyone!


    P.S. Sound recording (and a widget) is next on my list of things to do, so stay tuned!

    For those who have hinted at it, I am looking at muxing the audio after recording has finished, but this will obviously add a slight delay to the output. So i might have an option to keep the files separate so that the user can combine them later on their PC etc. but all of this is undecided yet... Anyways, enough rambling, have a good year!

    • Mike Reid

      Thanks and Happy New Year. :)

      Live audio recording would be best, but I'm sure you know that.

      Are there technical reasons why live audio recording would be difficult or impossible ?

      • Kavi Dhokia

        Nah, not impossible, just slightly difficult!

        • JoeyKhache

          Have you thought of creating a stand alone paid app? Don't personally like in-app purchases. If I were to pay the in-app purchase would I be able to install the app on another device and still have the pro version? Thanks.

          • flibblesan

            In-app upgrades are how it should be done! Not with separate versions which just clutter the Play Store.

          • http://mrmcpowned.com mrmcpowned

            Yes, if the developer has enabled purchase restoration within the app, there shouldn't be any problems. It's why you see the options in certain apps which use IAP for upgrades.

          • Kavi Dhokia

            It's much easier for me to simply have a single app with an in-app purchase, rather than maintain two versions of the app separately.
            The purchase is tied to your Google account, so as long as you are signed in on both devices (as the primary user I think), it should work fine.

    • kekkojoker90

      thanks to you :P

    • Chris Tuurbo Jarvis

      Shenmue on Nexus 7!: http://youtu.be/mXBK-hY7VWQ

      Thanks be to you! Best app for recording out there, very ecstatic customer here!

    • andy roid

      Hi I have nexus 5 and I want a screen record function for recording my shadowgun DeadZone games. I understand root is needed but I don't want to lose my Google OTA updates. Also I would need landscape screen recording - would I need pro version of your app (paid version)? Please reply quickly as I have to rely on a friend with a PC to root my nexus as I don't have PC.

  • Guest

    Is there anyway to remove the 3-minute limit? And add native audio recording as well? I want to record my awesome Asphalt 8 gameplay but the abrupt 3 minute cut off always ruined the recording. No point if I can't show people that I won in the end of the race.

    • Kavi Dhokia

      You could buy the Pro version...
      It has a 1 hour recording limit, and I will be working on adding audio soon-ish.

  • Caleb
  • Chris Tuurbo Jarvis

    I recorded some Dreamcast emulation here: Shenmue on Nexus 7!: http://youtu.be/mXBK-hY7VWQ

    Many thanks to the developer! He even took time to reply to suggestions! This app is outstanding and my nexus 7 puts it to great use with 10mb nitrate for nice results indeed!

  • http://about.me/felipebari Felipe Bari

    Awesome app. Even more so on Lollipop, since it doesn't require root.