Android features getting the ax in a developer preview is nothing new. In fact, it happens over and over in every cycle. Still, it’s still a bummer when we see a popular feature popping up on the cutting room floor. This turned out to be the case with scrolling screenshots in Android 11, and here’s what we know about the decision.
Also see: Taking screenshots on Android
We’ll get into Google’s decision to skip the feature, as well as touch on the devices that can scroll screenshots. There are even a few apps you can install to get the feature back, so let’s take a look.
What exactly is a scrolling screenshot?
Credit: Hadlee Simons / Android Authority
When you set up a screenshot on your phone or computer, you can usually only capture what you can see on your screen at the time. By adding a scroll, you can capture a very long web page or an entire Twitter thread. It’s still a screenshot, but it doesn’t limit you to the size of your screen.
Of course, it is not a mark of life or death, but it can certainly make life easier. Ask yourself, would you rather load your camera roll with multiple smaller screenshots or capture one and be done? We know what we would choose.
That sounds great, why did Google cut it?
Credit: Joe Hindy / Android Authority
It’s a really great feature, but we understand why Google didn’t feel ready to include it with the launch of Android 11. Google’s own Dan Saddler confirmed the feature would be dropped during a Reddit AMA last July, although he did say that the team is still working on it.
Essentially, Google had to leave scrolling screenshots at the launch of Android 11 because it didn’t want to limit the feature to just a few apps. Saddler said of the feature, “Our goal for the platform team is to build this so that any app can be connected to … Look for it in a future API bump.”
Also see: 5 best apps without root screenshot for Android and other methods
The good news is that there is still hope for the future. We can expect Google to get scrolling screenshots in its own time. For now, it’s easier to try a few alternative methods to take your long screenshots.
Which phones still support scrolling screenshots?
Credit: Luke Pollack / Android Authority
If you’re determined to take your scrolling screenshots, fear not. OnePlus, Huawei, Samsung, and many other OEMs have the feature built into their respective Android skins, and the process is straightforward. Here are the steps to follow for most of the top manufacturers:
- Keep the power and Reduce volume buttons for a few seconds or swipe with three fingers.
- Once you see the screenshot preview appear, search for it Extended screenshot button.
- This will return you to the original screenshot and start scrolling immediately.
- Press the big blue button to stop your screenshot.
- press the power and Reduce volume buttons at the same time (or use another desired screenshot method).
- Open your screenshot preview.
- Find and press the Scrollshot button.
- Scroll down to record all your content and press Finish
- Hold down Reduce volume and power or another preferred screenshot method.
- Once you see a preview of your screenshot, hit the button with two arrows in a box.
- Stay on the Browse Capture button until you reach the end of your content.
- Save your image.
There are other ways to take a scrolling screenshot depending on your device. We’ve done our best to include some of the most popular methods, but you may need to do a little extra research. If you can’t take scrolling screenshots with your Android version, try some of the apps below.
Also see: Poll: How do you take screenshots on your phone?
Which apps can I download instead?
If you’re absolutely determined to get scrolling screenshots on your phone, all hope is not lost. There are plenty of apps you can try out until you find the one that works for you.
One of the most appropriate names is LongShot for Long Screenshot. It’s completely free to download and use, and the app offers three options for capturing your content. You need to allow LongShot to be displayed over other apps, but that’s the nature of screenshots. The app allows you to capture web pages in their entirety or select images from the longer page itself. If you choose to scroll a web page screenshot, the process is literally as simple as entering a URL. Seriously, that’s all there is to it.
Another top option is called Screen Master, and it’s free again with a few ads here and there. You don’t need to root your device, which is always nice to hear. With Screen Master you can take scrolling screenshots, annotate your images and even stitch together smaller images. It generally has a cleaner interface than LongShot, although there are a few features you may have to pay for depending on your needs.
Another scrolling screenshot app for your consideration is Full Screenshot Capture and Screenshot Editor. The name is a lot, but it explains what you can do. There are only a few simple buttons to master, and you can take a screenshot of entire web pages with the built-in browser. You will need to place the bars at the top and bottom of your page to indicate where you want your recording to begin and end.
Will we see scrolling screenshots on Android 12?
We have reluctantly accepted that scrolling screenshots are not part of Android 11, but what about in the future? Android 12 is coming, and it gives hope for a new list of useful features. After all, scrolling screenshots were in development before, so we have to hope for more progress this year.
We’ve explored the Android 12 Developer Preview endlessly, and we’ve already picked out many of our favorite new features. So far we’ve come across new ways to mark up screenshots with emojis, paint brushes and more. It’s not exactly what we’re looking for, but it’s still screenshot advancement.
You should stay tuned for more news on scrolling screenshots as Android gets 12 inches closer. We still have our fingers crossed for now.