One feature that is now extremely common on Android devices is scrolling screenshots, where the phone will scroll through content automatically to create a super-tall image. However, the functionality has yet to appear in stock Android (or Pixel phones), and Google confirmed today that it won’t be ready in time for Android 11.
Google first revealed a year ago that scrolling screenshots were planned for Android 11, and hints of the functionality were present in the first Developer Previews earlier this year. Sadly, in today’s Android 11 AMA on Reddit, the Android team confirmed that the feature won’t be completed in time for the update.
Dan Sandler, a teach lead/manager on the Android System UI team, elaborated in a Reddit comment:
We’re still working on it, but It didn’t make the cut for R.
Rather than cranking out a quick hack that works for one or two hand-picked apps on a particular device, our goal on the platform team is to build this in a way that _any_ app can plug into, whether they’re using a bog-standard RecyclerView or have implemented their own OpenGL-accelerated scrolling engine. We investigated this throughout the R timeline, involving folks from the window manager and System UI teams; you’ll be able to see this scrolling capture framework start to take shape in the AOSP source.
In the end, as with every Android release (and especially in this unusual year), we had to make hard choices about where to focus our limited resources; while this is a cool feature that we’re still really excited about, we decided not to rush it. Look for it in a future API bump.
While the delay is disappointing, it does reveal why Google’s implementation is taking so long to develop — rather than build a hacky method that simulates a scrolling finger (like Samsung, OnePlus, and other OEMs currently do), Google wants to create a framework that can be used by other applications.