Chrome OS camera recording

Chromebooks can now record video with the native Camera app

I suspect this is just in time for the new Chrome tablets and detachable Chromebooks coming soon but could be handy for any Chromebook user: The Chrome OS camera app finally has a video recording function according to Google’s François Beaufort.

You’ll need version 5.0 of the Camera app found here to enable the video recording. Your Camera app may automatically update but I had to remove the old version and then install the new one on my Pixelbook, which is running on the Dev Channel currently.

There aren’t any frills here: This is a basic recording app. Testing it on my Pixelbook showed it to be serviceable but I hope that additional features are soon added. Specifically, I’d like to see the app adjust for brightness if you tap on your subject or background, for example, just like a phone’s camera app does. You can see that in a quick test video, my background blows out the foreground since this feature doesn’t yet exist.


The app doesn’t make it easy to save your recordings either. They’re available in the Camera app but you can’t see them by default in the Files app. Instead, I had to use the “Save to Disk” feature in the Camera app to add the recording to my Files. Note too that the recording format saved is WebM, or .webm. While this is pretty standard for viewing in an HTML browser, some apps may not yet be capable of viewing it.

I’m happy to see video recording on my Pixelbook, but where this feature will really be handy is on a Chrome OS device with rear camera, such as the upcoming Acer Chromebook Tab 10 and HP Chromebook X2.

About the author

Kevin C. Tofel has covered technology since 2004. He's used ChromeOS since Google debuted the CR-48 in 2010, reviewing dozens of Chromebooks since then. He worked for Google's Chrome Enterprise team from 2016 to 2017, supporting the launch of Android app support. In his free time, he uses Chromebooks to learn software engineering at Launch School. In 2019, Kevin joined the CS Curriculum Committee at his local community college.

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