[Update: Planned for Android R] Adding Scrolling Screenshot support to stock Android is apparently “infeasible”
Stock Android is pretty barebones as it acts as more of a base for manufacturers to work off of to implement their own features. Not even the Google Pixel runs it, with Google instead opting to use their own version of Android with extra features. Even still, Google’s Android on the Pixels does bare the most resemblances of pretty much any other manufacturer’s implementation, bar a select few. Because of that, though, devices from the likes of Samsung and Xiaomi have a lot more features implemented over some competitors, though obviously, features aren’t everything. One near-ubiquitous feature across Android devices of all kinds is the ability to take scrolling screenshots. Google has since said on their Android issue tracker that adding such a feature is “infeasible,” and that it will not be making its way to stock Android.
First and foremost, clearly the fact that other device manufacturers have a scrolling screenshots option shows that the feature clearly is feasible, as those competing devices still run Android. Scrolling screenshots are useful as they allow you to turn a scrollable piece of content into one captured image. It’s great for sharing conversations, webpages, and more with friends. Deeming it infeasible seems strange, given that it is obviously possible. There are apps like LongShot that can do the same job after the screenshots are taken, but it’s not the same as a system-level solution.
Thankfully, most OEMs seem committed to implementing the feature of their own accord. OnePlus, Samsung, Xiaomi, and even Motorola are just a few of the device brands that have the option enabled. None of this is to say that scrolling screenshots were expected to be implemented by Google anytime soon, but to have them shot down as “infeasible” is a strange stance to take. Maybe it’s possible that Google re-opens the issue at a later date for a future version of Android, but for now, it seems like it isn’t happening.
Update: Planned for Android R
We thought it was odd that scrolling screenshots were said to be “infeasible,” and now Dave Burke, VP of engineering for Android, says they are adding scrollable screenshots “to the hopper” for Android R. This is not a promise that the feature will be present in R, but it’s a good sign.
We’ve added scrollable screenshots to the hopper for Android R and hopefully can land it in that release. Make it so @dsandler 🙂
— Dave Burke (@davey_burke) May 17, 2019