Last month, Robby unearthed a new screen capture feature that will soon give Chromebooks a proper UI for the screenshot tool. Shortly thereafter, Chrome Story discovered that the new “capture mode” is more than just a simple interface upgrade. Instead, the new screen capture feature will also allow users to take screen recordings which could plausibly replace a number of third-party extensions and apps for countless users. It has only been a few weeks since capture mode emerged in the repository and for that reason, I really didn’t expect to see it in the flesh any time soon. Fortunately for us, I was wrong.
The latest update to the Canary channel of Chrome OS has added the flag for the new capture mode. Titled “Screen capture test,” the flag adds a screen capture icon to the Chrome OS taskbar where you can access it with just a click. I couldn’t find any mention of a shortcut for the feature but after a little tinkering, I found that the partial screenshot combo of Ctrl+Shift+overview key actually triggers the new toolbar. Check out this quick video of the new Screen Capture Mode in action and then, we’ll unbox all the bits and pieces.
First Look: Screen Capture Mode
As you can see in the video, the new capture mode is more than just an interface for the screenshot tool. For starters, there is an option for moveable and resizable screenshots. This is a feature that we discovered months ago but it’s still disabled behind a flag in the Stable channel. Clearly, this was created as part of this new capture mode. This will be a very useful tool for a variety of scenarios. The resizeable screenshot tool includes a pixel indicator so you can get an image that’s exactly the size you want. There is also an option to capture a specific window. When selected, you can switch to overview mode, click the desired image, and boom. Screenshot.
The bigger upgrade is the screen recorder. As it is, Chromebook users must rely on extensions such as Loom to make screen recordings for work, school, gaming videos, and more. With capture mode, you will be able to record video of your entire screen and possibly even selected areas of a given window. The recording function doesn’t work in its present state but the “recording” icon does appear on the shelf just like you’d see with other extensions. When you are ready to end your recording, you will be able to click the icon and the video will be saved to your device.
I don’t think that Capture Mode will completely replace more-capable tools like Loom any time soon because I don’t see any sort of camera access available in the toolbar. That doesn’t mean it isn’t on the road map but I wouldn’t expect to see those types of features out of the gate. Still, as quickly as this hit Canary, we could see the first iteration hit the Stable channel well before the end of the year. We’ll keep tabs on Capture Mode and update you as soon as we see anything new.