Honk if you ever feel like there are thousands of apps to choose from, but they ultimately all do the same things, be it RSS Reader, Twitter or Facebook Clients.
So let’s say you are on the look out for whatever app... First you read the AndroidPIT review, then you move on to YouTube to see if there are any videos of the app. Sounds familiar? Well, then you will probably agree that more often than not the quality of said videos is, shall we say, worse than crumby. The shaky hand-held camera, constant zooming (makes me nauseous), really bad auto-focus and light refracting off the display. Stop the insanity!
Is ScreenCast & Recorder FREE the solution? Find out in today’s review.
NB: Root is required for this application!
Features & Use
Test device: HTC Desire
Root: Yes, cMiUi 1.9.9
Android version: 2.3.5
Are you familiar with Fraps, the popular Windows programme? According to the ladies and gents over at Media Solutions, ScreenCast & Recorder FREE is similar to Fraps in the sense that it can be used to take screenshots as well as make videos (not that they’re the ones drawing a comparison between ScreenCast and Fraps, that would be me... what can I say: I see a similarity and I call it!).
The major advantage when using this kind of app is that one doesn’t have to contend with the kind of ugly visual disturbances listed above, which means you can actually focus on what the app that’s being reviewed/demonstrated is all about, and not on how crappy the video is.
The free version (which is the one we’re reviewing for you) lets you make films that can be up to 30 seconds long.
A streaming service is also in the making according to the developers; this would allow users to live broadstream what’s happening on their displays. Live streams of Angry Birds and Doodle Jump record breaking fill my mind’s eye...
There are different setting options available for the video’s quality, i.e. normal and high. Shooting in normal quality (25 frames) went relatively well on my HTC Desire, but as soon as I switched to high quality the processor’s capacity lessened drastically. Let us know how high quality works out on newer devices, but be warned that the application won’t run on Tegra 2 Dual-Core processors. Too bad!
ScreenCast & Recorder FREE can do more than just shoot videos. Taking screenshots of the display is another function, which sounds great in theory, but it turns out to be somewhat annoying: in order to take a screenshot you ahve to navigate back to the programme and hit the corresponding button. It would make much more sense to use a shortcut (key combination). The integrated gallery displays screenshots and videos. there is also an integrated benchmark function–but, truth be told, I don’t quite get why anyone would make use of this function, seeing as perfectly good benchmark services (such as Quadrant) are available.
A few bones of contention: the 30 seconds limit – it’s an okay time frame for shooting a few basic reviews, but it would be great to have an option of shooting longer videos. It’s also too bad that screenshots can’t be taken using a shortcut or by shaking the device.
But what really got my goat is that it isn’t possible to make audio recordings – I mean, sound is important, especially when watching reviews for games...
ScreenCast & Recorder FREE is a good app with really brilliant recording functionality on the one hand, and a few quirks and drawbacks that prevent the app from being a must-have on the other.
That being said, ScreenCast & Recorder FREE could easily become one of my faves – with just a bit of tweaking and adjusting.
I should also mention the the full version only runs when there is an internet connection (probably due to copyright issues), which I think is a pretty big drawback.
Not to mention that Tegra 2 users can’t use the app at all...
Screen & Controls
‘You’re hot and you’re cold’ – feelings-about-the-ScreenCast & Recorder FREE-controls: I’m talking to you! Controls are good as is the design (I like the dark theme I’m using at the mo’) BUT the app’s key function - recording - leaves a lot to be desired. Having to switch to the homescreen manually whilst recording is a pain in the neck, as is not being able to switch tabs by swiping.
I touched upon the nuisance surrounding taking screenshots earlier – a shortcut would make so much more sense than having to navigate back into the app...
Speed & Stability
The image quality is solid and there was absolutely no lagging on the Desire. That being said, the recordings will nibble away at the processor capacity.
Aside from this ScreenCast & Recorder FREE runs super smoothly, however.
ScreenCast & Recorder FREE is available for free from the Android Market. A full version is available for EUR2,99 (EUR2,20 are listed but there are extra costs).