A lot of us take screenshots with our phones, but when trying to do something like sharing a cool, long article with friends and family, that can sometimes mean snapping a bunch of them. We've been waiting forever for Google to add scrolling screenshots natively into Android, and for good reason — it's way more convenient to just take a single capture of content that extends past what's viewable on our phone's screen. Android 12 finally made this long-requested feature a reality, but with one important caveat — it doesn't work in all apps yet. Chrome is among those apps you'll most likely want to take scrolling screenshots in, and soon, it'll support one of Android 12's best features.
We've been tracking Google's efforts to add scrolling screenshot support directly into Chrome since Chrome Story spotted it last year. While you could technically enable it with a flag on Chrome 92, it doesn't yet work properly — pressing Long Screenshot in the Share menu will only capture what's within view. Info about when it might start working has been hard to come by, and we weren't sure if Google had thrown in the towel on development. That was, until XDA's Mishaal Rahman recently unearthed a new commit over at the Chromium Gerrit, one that when implemented should finally allow you to take scrolling screenshots with Chrome.
A commit allows Chrome to take scrolling screenshots by using Android 12's ScrollCapture API.
As explained by Mishaal, Android 12's approach to scrolling screenshots is a double-edge sword. It's much different from the way most OEMs implement their screenshot system, taking advantage of an Android app's View (component responsible for drawing content onto the screen) instead of capturing and stitching multiple images together. The result is a more robust and reliable scrolling screenshot, but one that doesn't support all apps.
Google is recommending developers take advantage of Android's new ScrollCapture API so its scrolling screenshot system will work — the API is precisely how it plans on adding scrolling screenshot support into Chrome, as shown in the above commit. Mishaal notes that while scrolling screenshots won't work for AMP, support may eventually arrive when the feature is enabled by default. You'll be able to perform an extended capture directly from Android if you prefer it over pressing the Long Screenshot button.
Adding scrolling screenshots to Chrome is definitely a welcome change that will finally solve the hassle of capturing and managing multiple screenshots of a single webpage. It's something that I look forward to using in forthcoming updates, and with any luck, you won't have to wait too long before it officially arrives for your device. For intrepid users itching to try it out, the feature should soon appear first in the Canary channel.