This story was originally published and last updated .
Recording internal audio on an Android smartphone used to be surprisingly difficult without rooting or buying a phone from a specific manufacturer. But with Android 10, Google introduced a way for apps to capture audio via a broad audio input sharing API. While this was largely introduced as an accessibility-minded feature, like Live Caption, developers quickly caught on to its utility for adding internal audio recording to screen capture apps.
Screen recording finally showed up as a native feature in Android Q/10 last year. Unfortunately, it was pretty broken, and Google eventually disabled it (though you could still turn it back on). Now it's back in the new Android 11 developer preview, with its own tile in quick settings, though it's still a bit buggy.
Not to be left out today, the OnePlus 5 and 5T are also getting a new update. OxygenOS 9.0.7 is starting to roll out for the company's 2017-era flagships, bringing last month's security patches, the company's snazzy screen recorder, a landscape quick reply feature (which isn't quite as simple as it sounds), and a handful of other tweaks.
Screen recording is pretty handy for people like us, but there's never been a native solution in Android. Some OEMs include it as part of their software enhancements, and there are third-party apps like AZ Screen Recorder, which is the one I've been using in recent years. As rumored previously, Google is baking one into the OS with Android Q, although it's pretty borked right now.
If you're just about to leave the comfort of Wi-Fi to risk expensive data fees and dead zones — or, you know, get on a plane for 2 hours — you might plan ahead and download some YouTube videos to kill some time. If you're like most people, you still want to see the highest possible quality, so you might have been disappointed that YouTube caps offline downloads at a measly 720p. That may be changing as it looks like the cap will be rising to a cool 1080p in the future.
After the launch of YouTube Gaming at the end of August, we posted a teardown of the new app that revealed plans to officially support screen recording and live streaming in the future. A recent announcement at the 2015 Tokyo Game Show Keynote (embedded below) confirmed Google's plans to enable Android devices to stream gaming footage to YouTube without the use of any additional software. The latest update to Play Games contains the evidence that Google is moving forward with this, and probably pretty soon.
Disclaimer: Teardowns are necessarily speculative and usually based on incomplete evidence. It's possible that the guesses made here are totally and completely wrong.
The kids these days love watching videos of other kids playing video games. They're hooked. It doesn't matter if the title is Minecraft, Skyrim, or Five Nights at Freddy's—if someone out there is willing to record their gameplay, someone else is willing to watch.
Kamcord simplifies the process of doing this on mobile devices. If you want to record your game, you can do so without going back to edit the seconds you spent switching between Goatz and your screen recording app. Kamcord specifically targets gameplay footage.
The app can record all games on devices running Android 5.0 or higher.
While December was a huge month for Android games, you can't say the same for more standard apps - despite a large number of new apps that came out, only a handful were all that interesting or innovative. (Heck, one of our apps below is specifically meant to record video games!) For what it's worth, here are the seven most interesting and/or innovative apps that came out this month, and some others thrown in for good measure.