Android 11 Could Finally Break the 4GB Video File Size Barrier

Anil Ganti

It's almost 2020 and Android phones STILL can't record more than 4GB of footage at 4K 60 fps. The camera app doesn't stop recording completely, though. It's just that your recording will be split into multiple files. It happens even for 4K 30 fps for some devices. That could soon be changing with Android 11. XDA Developers stumbled upon a new commit in the AOSP Gerrit that will allow users to create video files that are larger than 4GB.

The restriction was put in place all the way back in 2014 when 4K recording was a rarity. Furthermore, phones didn't come with a lot of storage and SD cards weren't exactly very spacious either. It is what prompted Google to decide that Android’s video files would be no larger than 4GB. Another reason for the decision is that FAT32 SD Cards wouldn't be able to recognize such files.

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Users and developers have asked for the ability to create video files larger than 4GB for quite some time. It won't make its way to any new release of Android, though. We might have to wait until Android 11 is released. Maybe the Pixel 5 will finally get 4K 60 fps recording at that point.

Google tested the feature and managed to create a 32GB file with relative ease. It even managed to fill up an entire device's memory with one single recording. That is one of the main reasons we need a file size limit.

With 4K 60 fps becoming the norm, and even 8K recording not too far off, video files sizes will be colossal. It will be hard for a user recording a video to realize that they just lost 20 GB of storage space. The best option would be to let the user decide upon a maximum filesize. A prompt that tells you just how much you can record at different resolutions and framerates would be an added bonus.

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