It was just September when Robby stumbled upon a new feature that would bring native screen recording and an entirely revamped capture tool to Chrome OS. In recent weeks, the screen capture tool landed in the Canary channel and the screenshot tool has actually worked for quite some time. With it, you take fullscreen or moveable/resizable screenshots similar to the current screenshot tool that is already built into Chrome OS.
The screen recording tool, however, has been little more than an inactive placeholder. Just recently, activating the recording feature of the capture tool did present a 3-second countdown timer and a new file was created when you opted to stop the recording. The front end of the action appeared to be working exactly as you’d expect. Selecting a partial recording allowed you to select a specific area of your screen and resize/move until you captured only the space you wanted. Unfortunately, the file created was nothing more than a zero MB .webm file that did nothing.
Good news! The latest update to the Canary channel of Chrome OS has finally brought full functionality to the screen recording tool, albeit unpolished. You can see in the video below that the capture tool allows you to record as you scroll up and down on a web page. Eventually, you will also be able to choose a specific window that you’d like to capture but that feature appears to still be in the works.
I said “unpolished” because the capture tool is still creating a .webm file which is fine but it isn’t as widely used as the more universal .mp4 format. The latter format was adopted recently adopted by the Chrome OS camera app in place of the .webm format and I would hope that developers will do the same with the upcoming screen recorder. Interestingly enough, the capture function will record at whatever resolution you have your display set to. In the above video, my Chromebook was set to the default 1536 x 864 but changing to the native 1920 x 1080 resulted in the resolution of the recording coming out the same.
Clearly, developers are hard at work to get the screen capture tool ready for prime time. With the “new normal” changing the way we work, learn, and communicate in general, Chromebooks having an in-built screen recording tool will be a huge step forward for productivity and versatility. It is unfortunate for third-party tools such as Loom or HYFY but there will always be a place for these kinds of tools. After all, the Chrome browser lives in practically every ecosystem and I doubt we’ll see this feature outside of Chrome OS. Stay tuned for more as we track this exciting new feature.