Wouldn’t it be great if you could record a video of your phone’s screen? Well, thanks to Media Solutions and a little rooting, Screencast does just that. However, Galaxy Nexus users (such as me) were reporting black screens instead of screen recordings. After trying everything from Mobo Player to re-installing the app, I decided to contact the developer(s). Clearly, this was the right thing to do. Within minutes, I had a response sitting in my inbox.
Media Solution’s answer was nice and simple:
“Google blocked the conventional framebuffer where Screencast and other screen capture utilities grab the screen on the Galaxy Nexus. We are actively investigating new ways to support your device.”
Media Solutions went on to explain to me how the Screencast app works and why exactly it is currently not compatible with the Galaxy Nexus:
“Traditionally, on all Linux systems and all Android OSs (excluding Tegra based devices) the display is updated using what is called the Framebuffer, a layer between the graphics processor and the LCD. You can think of it as a “bucket” which contains what the screen should display, the graphics processor updates it then signals to the LCD to read the bucket. All screen capture programs for Android used this layer to save the screen as a screen shot. Screencast uses it as well to create frames it needs to save as a video.
The Galaxy Nexus seems to use a framebuffer as well (good news). However, the framebuffer seems to always be empty (bad news). This can be due to many factors including permissions on the framebuffer driver. Support for the Galaxy Nexus may be as easy as changing permissions on the framebuffer or as difficult as going back to the drawing board to figure out a new way to grab the display. During each release cycle, we usually have on main big feature + previous bug fixes and tweaks. After Screencast v3.0 is released, Galaxy Nexus support will be the main feature we will be working on.”
So as you can see, Media Solutions already has two plans of action. In addition, I was told that now that v3.0 of Screencast is out, fixing the Galaxy Nexus compatibility issue is their number one priority.