Recording Your Android Device’s Screen on Versions Prior to KitKat (4.4)

Recording Your Android Device's Screen on Versions Prior to KitKat (4.4)

22 April 2024 Stephan Petzl Leave a comment Tech-Help

Screen recording is an invaluable tool for developers, testers, and content creators. As of Android version 4.4 (KitKat), the ability to record your device’s screen using Android Debug Bridge (ADB) was introduced. However, for devices operating on versions below 4.4, this functionality is not natively available. This guide will explore alternative methods to achieve screen recording on these older devices.

Native Screen Recording in KitKat and Above

For devices running Android 4.4 or higher, the native screen recording feature can be accessed via the following ADB command:

adb shell screenrecord /sdcard/demo.mp4

This command initiates screen recording and saves the video file to /sdcard/demo.mp4 on the device. To stop recording, you can press Ctrl+C in the command prompt or terminal. The saved video is stored on the device’s internal storage, not on your computer.

The default settings capture the device’s standard screen resolution at a bitrate of 4Mbps with a maximum duration of 180 seconds. For additional options, you can use:

adb shell screenrecord --help

Alternatives for Pre-KitKat Devices

  • Emulators: One approach is to use an emulator, such as AVD (Android Virtual Device) or Genymotion, to mirror and record the device screen on your computer.
  • Screen Mirroring Apps: Applications like AirServer allow you to mirror your device’s screen to a PC or Mac, enabling you to record the screen externally with high quality.
  • Third-Party Recording Apps: There are numerous screen recording apps available in the market that can be downloaded and used on older versions of Android, though these often require rooting the device.

Automated Testing and Screen Recording with Repeato

For those involved in app testing, automated tools can significantly streamline the process. Repeato is a no-code test automation tool for iOS and Android that not only facilitates the creation, running, and maintenance of automated tests but also aids in recording test sessions for further analysis.

Repeato works with app frameworks such as React Native, Flutter, Unity, and more. It includes ADB onboard, allowing you to execute ADB commands through script steps. This integration can be particularly useful when dealing with various testing scenarios, including those that might require screen recording functionalities.

For more on automating tasks related to ADB, you might find these articles from our blog helpful:

Whether you’re looking to record your app’s behavior on various devices or automate your testing process, Repeato is equipped to enhance your productivity and testing efficacy.

Like this article? there’s more where that came from!