Hidden “Partial Screenshots” Demoed on Android 7.1 Nougat

Hidden “Partial Screenshots” Demoed on Android 7.1 Nougat

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Screenshots have been around in Android ever since 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (and even back to 2.3 Gingerbread if you were on Touchwiz). However, the functionality that was added back in the day has remained stationary despite the evolved needs in the past 5+ years. Stock Android started off with simple screenshots, and stock Android has remained with simple screenshots.

While other OEM skins add in features like scrolling screenshots and more, there is hidden screenshot functionality that can be found on stock Android now: partial screenshots. This is “hidden” in the sense that this functionality was added in the latest Android version, but it still needs a small edit to activate it.

XDA Senior Member MrWasdennnoch, known in the forums for his Android N-ify Xposed Module, tipped  Maxr1998 about a finding (first reported by Alex Cruz) on the AOSP master branch, a commit named “Partial Screenshot” which seemingly allows users to select a size and grid position on the screen to take a screenshot. This results in a screenshot of that particular selection, rather than the full screen, which will help constricting the information displayed to narrower focus points.

XDA Recognized Developer Maxr1998 managed to enable the functionality by modifying line 53 of TakeScreenshotService to takeScreenshotPartial().

As demoed, the screenshot functionality allows you to quickly select a focus area, without needing a gallery app to crop the image for you. While a very small addition by itself, this does show that functionality as basic as a screenshot is still open to evolution.

We hope more such smaller additions, like perhaps scrolling screenshots, are made part of stock Android in the future.