Bad news, folks. Despite last year’s promise and some early evidence it might happen, scrolling screenshots aren’t arriving with the final Android 11 release this year.

Following Google I/O last year, Dave Burke confirmed on Twitter that Google was preparing to finally deliver scrolling screenshots to native Android with the “R” release. Through some work in the background, we were even able to see evidence of the feature in early developer previews, too. However, the functionality was never working.

Apparently, that was for a reason. In an AMA today, Dan Sandler confirmed that Android 11’s final release won’t include support for scrolling screenshots.

Why not? It boils down to getting the feature right as well as the resources available for getting Android 11 finished. As far as perfecting the feature, Sandler explains that Google wanted to get scrolling screenshots working for Android as a whole. Not just for one app, not just for some devices. As a result, the feature couldn’t get finished in time, partially due to the simple fact that in the world affected by coronavirus, the Android 11 team had its resources limited a fair bit.

Luckily, Google is still working on bringing scrolling screenshots to Android in a future release, even though it won’t arrive in 11. Sandler says to expect the feature in “a future API bump.” That implies Android 12, but we’ll just have to wait and see.

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.

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