Chrome OS 103 update – How to use the new Screencast app

If you’ve updated your Chromebook or Chromebox to Chrome OS 103 you may have seen the new Screencast app. This app is perfect for the education sector, but anyone can use it.

The screencast app is very similar to the screen recording app but with a lot of extra functionality. The extra functionality provided such as highlighting information during the video and providing a transcript will be very useful for the education sector.

I’ve been waiting to use this app because I was very excited to see how it works. As soon as my Chromebook updated to Chrome OS 103 I went straight in to find out more.

The new Screencast app

To use the new Screencast App on your Chromebook you need to make sure you’ve updated to Chrome OS 103. As soon as you’ve done that you can access the new app from your Chrome OS app launcher. That’s the start menu that you can access by clicking at the bottom left of your desktop. Find out how to get the new Chrome OS start menu.

Screencast app from Chrome OS app launcher
Screencast app available from your app launcher

Once you’ve opened the app you’ll notice the options are very similar to recording your screen. You can choose whether to record your whole desktop, a window or a section of your display. You can also choose whether to add your webcam, so people viewing the video can see you whilst speaking.

If you want to get the best possible quality, you also have the option to choose to use an external webcam and mic. This is a much better option if your built-in webcam and mic are of poor quality.

If your screencast option isn’t showing

When you open the Screencast app you should see a blue button at the top left ‘New Screencast’. If this is greyed out or you’re getting a ‘loading’ message. Then you can fix this by changing your language settings.

At the time of writing this article, I was unable to create a new Screencast in English (UK). Therefore, I had to change the language in my Chrome OS settings to English (United States). Once you’ve changed your language settings and restarted your Chromebook you should have the option to create a new Screencast.

I would imagine the reason why it only works with a select language at present is due to the transcript. When you talk during your video a transcript is also created. It’s most likely at the moment this is only available in certain languages.

Highlighting important data

One of the great features of Screencast is the ability to highlight important data. This will be beneficial if you need to ensure an important step isn’t missed or to highlight data if it’s difficult to easily spot when watching the video.

A really important function because it’s not always easy to know where someone may be referring to when watching videos.

Screencast transcript

One of the best features of Screencast is that it creates a transcript for your video. When you talk during your video a transcript is automatically created. This is broken down into sections, and it will create separate sections where there is no transcript.

This means when you share videos with others they can either listen to the recorded voice or read the transcript. This is an excellent feature, which makes your Screencasts more accessible.

The transcript provides another great feature, which is the ability to cut out sections of the recording. You can do this before sharing the video. This allows you to skip part of the video if it doesn’t need to be shared. For example, if you need to stop to look at some information whilst filming.

Sharing your Screencast

Once you’ve finished recording your Screencast and removed sections that are not needed. You can then share the Screencast. This is done by simply hitting the share button. You’ll then be provided with a link that you can email to people or paste into a message group.

The video is shared directly from Screencast. Therefore, for someone to watch the screencast they would need to have it set up on their Chrome OS computer. This also means, at present, Screencast can only be viewed on Chrome OS devices.

Your Screencast is saved to your Google Drive

Once you’ve shared a video three separate files are saved to your Google drive. This includes the thumbnail for the Screencast, the video itself and a text file containing the transcript.

This video contains the whole video as it was recorded. Therefore, it will not cut out sections that you may have done before sharing your video. This means you’ll always have an original copy of the recording.

Take a look at Screencast in action

If you want to take a look at how Screencast works. I’ve created a video that is available near the top of this post. This video will explain everything I’ve mentioned in this article. The video will also show you how you can edit transcripts before sharing, and where to find Screencasts in your Google Drive.