The fastest way to start recording video on your smartphone

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Photo: Ceri Breeze (Shutterstock)

You never know when you’ll need to save something to your phone. There may be a rat in the subway bringing his share home for dinner; maybe a pedestrian on a call is about to turn someone’s life situation around. Either way, if there’s a viral moment unfolding in front of you, there’s no time to waste—you have to start shooting.

We all know how to record videos on our smartphones: Ouse the Camera app, switch to video mode, press the red record button and continue. You might even know how to make sure you are recording your video in the best possible quality. But when the moment counts, you don’t want to mess with buttons or menus, and tThis is why both iPhone and Android have an option to record video instantly from photo mode. without forcing you to switch to video mode first.

Apple has an official name for this feature, which it nicknames “QuickTake”. It makes the feature available on iPhone XS and later. However, it is not clear which Android phones support the feature and which do not; for context, I’m using it on a Pixel 4 running the latest beta of Android 12.

How to Quickly Record Video from Photo Mode on iPhone and Android

All you need to do is open the Camera app and then long press the shutter button or long press any of the volume buttons. When you do, the shutter button turns into a red record button, and your phone starts filming rather than taking a photo.

You have a few options from here. While keeping your finger glued to the screen, you can swipe up to zoom in on your subject and swipe down to zoom out. Other apps, like Snapchat, let you zoom in like this also. If you don’t want to keep the record button pressed all the time, you can swipe to the lock icon on the screen; on Android you’ll find this icon to the left of the record button, while on iOS you’ll find it to the right.

Just know that However, none of these options work if you are using the volume button on iPhone. To stop recording, you can simply take your finger off the shutter button or the volume button.

Fast recording does not give the best video quality

The only downside here is that you won’t be able to record full resolution video from your phone. On iPhone, QuickTake was recording 1080p video at 30 fps, but it looks like Apple has increased that resolution to 1440p. Android, on the other hand, appears to record 768p videos, which is nowhere near its maximum 4K quality. As such, you’ll want to use this feature when you need to record a video. quick, not when you have the opportunity to take your time.

Alternative methods to record video faster

You don’t just need to rely on your phone’s version of QuickTake to access a video faster. You can also long-press the Camera icon on your phone’s home screen, then choose “Take a video“(Android) or”Record a video»(IPhone). This will launch video mode rather than photo mode in your Camera app, so you can jump right into shooting.

If you are on iOS, you can also adjust your settings so that the last used camera mode appears the next time you launch the app. If you know you used video mode the last time you used the camera, it will stay in video mode when you open the app again. You can learn more about this setting in our full guide here.

What happened to the iPhone burst mode?

Hlowering the shutter used to initiate “Burst” mode on iOS, which would take a series of photos in quick succession. You can still use burst mode, but it’s really hidden. When you first tap the shutter icon, slide your finger to the left. It will go into burst mode and your iPhone will start taking photos one after the other.

You can also choose to designate the volume up button for burst mode; open Settings> Camera, then make sure the toggle next to “Use boost volume for burst” is authorized.


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