Android Lollipop Restricting Screenshots On Video Apps?

Mobile / Tech

With the recent update of the Android Lollipop preview build to version LPX13D ahead of the final release of Google’s latest Android operating system have come a large number of new features from a redesigned account setup interface to pinning/locking apps for use, multiple account – including guest account – support and more. Part of the fun in an operating system update is discovering “hidden” features – those not specifically outlined by Google. In this case however, one of those hidden features appears to limit taking screenshots in popular video apps.
UPDATE: Apparently restricting screenshots in some apps like Netflix and Google Play Movies isn’t new, there just wasn’t an error message displayed before. As well, as mentioned below, screenshots in the YouTube app used to work so this could just be an extension, and update, of previous functionality.

Here at TECHAERIS, we sometimes take screenshots of YouTube videos to use in our articles. Personally, I’ve found the best way to do this is on my Nexus 5 – the resolution and clarity is much better than my laptop. That being said, this is something that I have done time and again in the past – even as recently as in the Android L Developer Preview build LP79. Today however, produced very different results. When viewing a video in the YouTube app (version and trying to take a screenshot, I received the following error message.


This error message appears when trying to take a screenshot of a video in the YouTube app while running Android Lollipop.

This was definitely a bit of a shock due to the fact that there was not any issues with taking screenshots on previous versions of Android and the YouTube app. I have ample free space on my Nexus 5 (18.88GB), I also tried taking a screenshot while signed out which produced the same result – eliminating the possibility it was restricted at the organisation level. As well, a force close and clearing of data/cache from the YouTube app didn’t rectify the situation.

Other users have indicated they are seeing similar behavior not only in the YouTube app but also in the Google Play Movies and Netflix app – however, some users are indicating that they are still able to take screenshots using the YouTube app on the latest Lollipop preview build.

Are you experiencing issues taking screenshots of video content on Android Lollipop? What do you think of this move to restrict screenshots at the app level? Let us know in the comments below or on Google+, Facebook, or Twitter!

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