Google, Why Are Scrolling Screenshots Not Included In Android 11?

AH Huawei P30 Pro scrolling screenshot 1
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As most of you know by now, Google released Android 11 to consumers today. The Android 11 has a lot of goodies included, but scrolling screenshots are still not a part of the picture. I wonder why that is. The ability to take scrolling screenshots has been included in some Android skins for years now, for earlier versions of Android, and Google is still refusing to place it in vanilla Android.

Android 11 does not offer scrolling screenshots, despite the fact this feature is quite useful

Granted, this functionality is not crucial, and most people don’t even use it, but it’s sure useful to have. I find myself in situations where I need scrolling screenshots quite often, and am quite surprised by Google on this one. I was hoping that the feature will be included, even though Developer Previews did not look promising in that regard. Well, it turns out that I was hoping for nothing, as the feature is still not here.

Scrolling screenshots can be quite useful if you need to capture a screenshot of a bunch of comments, or something of the sort. In other words, if you need to take a screenshot of something that doesn’t fit on your phone’s display, that’s when scrolling screenshots come in useful. As already mentioned, that is probably not an issue for most of you, due to the sheer size of smartphone displays these days. Well, at least it’s not an issue frequently, but from time to time, it sure does come in handy.

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Many Android skins have it, and it functions similarly in all of them

The feature is not too complicated to implement, at least it doesn’t seem to be. How it works on most Android skins, is that you activate it by a gesture or an on-screen button press, and then the phone starts scrolling on its own, one step at a time. As it scrolls, it takes more and more screenshots, and then it patches them in a single image. When the device captures everything you think is needed, all you need is tap on the display, and it will stop.

Now, this may vary from one company to the other. Pretty much all phones I’ve tried with this feature do it this way, though. On OnePlus devices, for example, you can select a three-finger swipe across the display, at which point the phone will take a regular screenshot, and show you a pop-up menu with an “Expanded Screenshot” option. That is OnePlus’ name for scrolling screenshots, pretty much. Xiaomi’s feature works in a similar fashion, as it does on phone from a number of other Chinese brands.

This may seem like nitpicking to some of you, and maybe it is, to a degree. For us who use this feature at least several times a week, it’s quite useful. I've been expecting this feature to be included on Google’s part for years now. I was expecting it to arrive with the last couple of big iterations of Android, but that did not happen. I've never complained, until now. I do believe it’s about time Google made this move, and offered this functionality to its users. Many companies already do, and Google should get in line as well.

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We’ll probably have to wait until Android 12 (at least) in order for it to arrive

This is not exactly a feature that can be reimagined by a company. Google can certainly do a good job of putting its own spin to it, though. OnePlus, in particular, did an excellent job with this feature, it’s quite seamless, it works great. If Google could adopt something similar to it, that would be great. This feature probably won’t be included anytime soon, though, we’ll have to wait until the next big iteration of Android, at the very least.