Android 11 could finally remove the 4GB size limitation for video recordings

“4K videos recorded at 30fps on Android smartphones can only record videos up to 12 minutes before hitting the 4GB-mark”

Android 11 operating system could finally allow Android smartphones to save video recordings that are more than 4GB in size. A new commit in Google’s AOSP gerrit states that the company is working to get rid of the 4GB size limitation for videos. This limit was introduced by Google in 2014 and has been in use ever since. Android smartphones can currently only save video recordings that are less than 4GB in size. Once the size limit is crossed, the camera app will stop the recording and continue to a new one immediately. This was fine when smartphones didn’t have 4K recording and large internal storage, but that’s a thing of the past.

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For those who’re wondering, a 4K video at 30fps will hit the 4GB-mark at around 12 minutes. This means that if a user is recording a longer 4K video, then Android will automatically split them and make each file less than 4GB in size. This would mean that the user will see multiple videos in the Google Photos or Gallery app and will have to stitch them together. That’s not ideal and not a lot of people would even try to do that. Luckily, this could all change with Android 11 and that would definitely be a blessing to all budding smartphone videographers.

Smartphones are only going to get better and more emphasis would be put on video recording. Most high-end smartphones can already do 4K 60fps recording and the quality is pretty great for a handheld device. We will also start seeing smartphones with 8K video recording capabilities and the 4GB size limit would be a bottleneck. The AOSP gerrit also shows that Android will get the option to ‘compose/mux’ files that are larger than 4GB. Google has managed to create a large 32GB video file in a single recording, and also emptied a phone’s onboard storage. 

Developers and smartphone manufacturers can also use Camera2API to set a maximum file size limitation on their apps. We will have to wait till March 2020 to see if Google has merged the commit. Android 11 beta 1 is expected to go live in March next year.