We get to see a lot of tutorials on PC and Mac in the form of screencasts, but have you ever thought something of that sort on a smartphone. Taking screenshots is possible on most of the smartphones and is a native feature of iOS devices. You can find screenshot as an official option on most of the latest Android sets, and screencast should be possible on Android too. Well, it is possible and there’s an app which lets you do all this. Meet the Screencast Video Recorder.
Screencast is a great way to show off your apps or create a tutorial of some sort. Screencast Video Recorder allows you to click screenshots as well as shoot screencasts on an Android phone. Let’s review Screencast Video Recorder.
In order to install Screencast Video Recorder and get it running, you need to have your device rooted first. People who don’t want to have their device rooted cannot have this app, as simple as that. Besides having a rooted device in hand, the installation procedure is pretty straight forward.
The interface is pretty neat and slick, so don’t expect to be surprised. In order to start recording, you have to just launch the app, tap on one of the icons along the top and then tap on the “Press To Start Recording” button. Once you finish recording your video, it will be saved in MP4 video format. It can be located in phone’s gallery under the folder named Screencast.
Clicking screen shot is possible using the native options provided by the manufacturer, however, clicking a shot with Screencast Video Recorder is even easier. All you have to do is click a shortcut, more on this later.
On the top, there are four different icons.
Gallery: Tapping on second icon in the top launches app’s inbuilt gallery. It is possible to view the app’s output in device’s gallery too, but if you don’t want to switch between the app and gallery that often, you can use app’s gallery instead, however, if you are mainly using the app for clicking screenshots, using the app’s inbuilt gallery hardly has any benefits over using device’s default gallery app, but if you are shooting a screencast, it is found to be quite useful.
Benchmark Tester: The third icon on the top launches a benchmark tester. Knowing the fact that Android devices are manufactured by tons of manufacturers out there with various kinds of hardware baked into them, each device will deliver different performance figures, and this is where benchmark tester is helpful. It will display various variables that the app is running on, and tweaking each may deliver different result. An encoding score shows performance score under the current settings. Benchmark tool is very helpful in order to get a smooth screencast.
Settings: Screencast Video Recorder app has a settings panel that can be accessed by tapping on fourth icon on the top. You can control various variables that the app will be using in the process. The settings include:
Video resolution settings: This setting allows you to switch between normal and high resolution, but it is suggested to select normal resolution if you have a less powerful device.
Video orientation: You can choose between Auto, No Rotation, Rotating Right and Rotating Left.
Frames per second: You can control the fps at which the app should shoot the screencast at. FPS determines the accuracy and the value which your device is capable of will depend on its performance.
Timelapse: If you’re going to record a long video, you can reduce the length and condense it by fast forwarding the unwanted parts, and the result is a time lapse video.
Touch pointer: You can change the icon that will appear as your pointer in your video. The pointer will appear where your finger is placed on the touchscreen.
Default filename: You can set a prefix for file names that the app will be saving.
Append date to name: makes it easy to identify the recording later.
Record audio (Mic): You can also have your voice in the video, and that’s a pretty good feature as you can describe what is happening on the screen.
Just to have easier access to the app, the developers have also added widgets and shortcuts. You can get a widget that can be placed on the home screen, tapping on which can start or stop recording session, and the widgets can be resized too. It is very convenient as you don’t even have to open the actual app in order to have access to its features. The file recorded using widget will be saved in the gallery itself, under the appropriate folder name. Speaking of shortcuts, if your device has a Search button, you can choose the shortcut to either record a video or click a screen shot by making a long press on the search button.
To conclude, it is a great piece of app if you are into troubleshooting or reviewing apps. There are few cons, like the device has to be rooted in order to use the app, and few people are not comfortable with rooting their devices as doing so will void the device’s warranty. Also, the app requires the device to have root access, and hence it may not function on devices like Galaxy Nexus and Tegra 2/3. The app retails for $3.99 in the Android Play Store, which is a good value for money as the app can record videos as well as click screenshots easily. There’s a demo version of the same app, however, it has limitations on video length, but it is good to give it a shot before settling for the real deal. In case you encounter problems, you can contact the developer and the publisher is offering a refund before the 24 hours grace period as opposed to the normal 15 min grace period.