In case you didn’t already know, Android phones are unable to record videos that are over 4GB in size. This could either be a very long lower resolution video or a shorter high-resolution video. Once the limit is reached, the recording would just stop. In newer versions of Android, the recording would go on but create a separate file each time a 4GB file is created. Better than the past, but still inconvenient. However, Android 11 could remove that limit.
The 4GB limitation may have made sense until a few years ago. However, phones are now getting powerful enough to handle bigger files. Further, with higher resolution video slowly being normalized across even upper budget-segments, video files can easily cross the 4GB mark. Take high-resolution videos like a 4K clip shot at 30 or 60fps and file size can quickly cross 4GB. Hence, removing the restriction in Android 11 is a much-needed change.
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Why the 4GB restriction makes no sense
The 4GB limitation was first introduced in 2014, when the hardware in smartphones was at a far inferior level compared to where it is today. In today’s world, the limitation is nothing but a restriction. A minute of 4K video shot at 60fps takes up at least approximately 400Mb. That means you usually cannot record 4K 60fps files over 10-12 minutes without the file being silently split into parts. With decent phones starting storage at 64GB and going all the way up till 512GB or even 1TB, it made no sense to keep it going. Well, once Android 11 fixes this issue, we may soon see 8K recording in phones.
Android 11 is the answer
Thankfully, someone at Google realized just that. A new commit description in the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) says that the company will allow Android to “compose/mux files more than 4GB in size”. This will take effect from the “next major version of the OS”. Well, that would be Android 11 for us. Google usually releases its new Android updates around October. But the first betas should start surfacing somewhere around March. However, that still means you have a long time to wait before you can shoot that beautiful 4K timelapse into a single video file.