Improve your Google Play listing with a Video

Android 4.4 KitKat

Android 4.4 (KitKat) was released recently, and included along with many of the fixes and improvements was the ability to easily record the screen of the device. Previously one had to awkwardly (trust me I did it) record the device using a second camera, or have a jail-broken device. Built-in screen recoirding is a nice addition for us Andromo Developers because it allows us to easily improve our Google Play app listing, and hopefully get more downloads.

Phil Nickinson, the editor over at Android Central has a nice post in the Android Central forums detailing how to use this new feature: How to use screen recording in Android 4.4 KitKat.

In a nutshell you need the latest Android SDK and Platform Tools installed (you can read about how to do that on the Android Developer site) and then you issue the following command via the command line/shell:

adb shell screenrecord --bit-rate 8000000 /sdcard/yourfilename.mp4

Note: One of the reasons I mentioned Phil’s post is because he recommends increasing the bitrate, I have tried it and it does look nice.

When you are done demonstrating your app CTRL-C will cancel the screen recording.

You should also take a look at the official Android Platform Tools documentation on recording a device screen to see all of the screen recording options. What I like about the Android documentation is that it details an easy way to copy the file from your Phone or Tablet:

adb pull /sdcard/yourfilename.mp4

Once you have the MP4 file, upload it to YouTube, and then add it to your Google Play store listing Graphic and Image Assets, and you’re done.

Happy developing.



  • Great stuff, thanks @mark.
  • By the way this was originally posted on the blog: 

    Some of the links didn't come through so you might want to visit the blog post for the full read.

    @hendrixs your welcome!
  • Seems a wonderful idea. I wonder if Genymotion (the emulator I am using) has some 4.4 device added in so I can do it too. The SDK isn't really convenient.
  • edited January 2014
    This is Awsome, I have only had poorish results trying to use BlueStacks & others.
    Videos increase downloads - bring it on!
  • edited January 2014
    Here is an example video that I have updated the blog post with:

  • edited January 2014
    Looks great, but for those of us, who don't have a 4.4 device, Genymotion can solve the problem. Also, if your phones have a good enough hardware (but are not officially supported anymore), you can install the latest Android version from Cyanogenmod.
  • @hendrixs
    I cant seem to find a 4.4 device there. Have you managed to add one and try?
  • @anteos: Sorry, I wasn't clear enough. I just meant to say that you don't have to have Android 4.4 to make videos of your apps. You can make videos in Genymotion with whatever Android version you have - you only need to have a good screen recording software like CamStudio (free) or Camtasia (paid).
  • @hendrixs
    Awesome, I hadn't thought of it at all. Thanks
  • No problem. :)
  • @hendrixs For sure, whatever works. Good luck making your videos.
  • @mark: Thanks. :) I'm just starting to learn how to spice up the videos with in-between slides etc., so the videos will look really cool. Also, since I'm not a native English speaker, having an English speaking female voice-over could improve the videos immensely. On Fiverr you can get such services for really cheap and the level of professionalism would shoot through the roof. :)
  • OK, So I got my Nexus 5 now (Bright Red woohoo (It's actually Orange)).
    I wanted to 'Screen Record'.  I needed to enable 'USB Debugging' and couldn't find the 'developer options'.
    Strange...  But to find it, I had to 'repeat tap' the 'Build number' in the About Phone tab in settings.
    Wierd.  I had to google it just to find that out!
  • Hi All,

    Love coming here to learn new techniques. After coming here I have applied many ideas all of you shared. Thank you.
    I did my promo video through a software called animoto and uploaded to YouTube.
    I pasted the YouTube link to promote.
    But now got a few new ideas using phone video recording as mention by some above.
    I will try and update soon
  • i have just done my first screen record for my Tech News App: 

    i didn't have access to Video Edit software (I would have edited out some bits where the web connection was slow and had to wait for a page to load) but I am really pleased with the result.

    I will be doing vids for all my apps and posting them on my website too.
    I found it a bit of a faff making sure I had all the right java, adb things etc but once it's set-up it's easy.
  • Yeah that video looks good and sharp tamworth , you have the nexus5 now ? Awesome!!
  • Yeah I got the Red Nexus 5 - I love it!
    I found a full 'Start to Finish' guide on doing everything needed to prepare my PC to use the ScreenRecord feature here:
    I have put it on fiverr as a gig, see if anyones interested!
    If anyone here wants me to do one for their app (for free) email me:
    My vid is almost at the 90 second limit, at 8Mbps it comes out at 64MB (but youtube downsizes depending on the viewers device and data connection (thankfully).
  • edited May 2014
    Yea I've started adding videos myself. You can use the edit function on youtube to rotate your video by 90 degrees. It will show up better on a phone in googleplay listing. Set it as private for playstore and make a normal one public for youtube if you want.
    View this listing of mine on your Nexus and you'll see what I mean.

    Use this freemake videoconverter to compress your videos before you upload to youtube. It will save you all that time uploading.

  • After reading the tips here, I used my long time Animoto video create my video for app.
    Simple one ...
    Indian Designer Sarees:
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