Recording Video on an Android Tablet

This article describes how to use the Android camera in your tablet to record and share video. We review the native Android Camera and Gallery apps, show how to adjust the settings, show where video files are stored, and explain how to transfer the video files to your computer. We will also discuss various ways of sharing videos with others through email and 3rd party apps such as mailVU.

Please see the related article: How to use the Camera on an Android Phone

For this article we used the latest Nexus 10 tablet from Google, manufactured by Samsung. One of the things we like best about the tablet is the automatic updating of the operating system by Google. Android phone software can often be held hostage by the wireless service provider, not allowing you to upgrade your phone to a newer OS level. The Nexus provides the promise of staying current on software. This article and review is based on the 4.2 release.

Native Android Camera on the Nexus Tablet:

To access the apps on the tablet press on the center icon at the bottom of the screen. The following apps will appear:Nexus 10 Apps ScreenThree apps we will cover in this article are the native Camera and Gallery apps, and the 3rd party mailVU video sharing app downloaded free from Google Play.

Android Camera app:

android camera appAs one would expect, clicking on the Camera icon brings up the native camera app on the tablet. You find all the camera options on the right side of the screen. The top icon on the right side of our Nexus tablet provides the camera/video settings. The middle icon is for taking a picture or starting/stopping the video. The bottom icon lets you switch between camera mode and video mode.

Let’s starting by pressing on the camera settings icon on the top right side. When you press this icon a display will appear in the middle of the tablet screen of a circle with five icons to change the settings.Nexus 10 Camera

Icon 1: The camera icon allows you to switch between front and rear cameras on your tablet.

Icon 2: Moving in a clockwise direction the next icon is for your camera flash settings.

Icon 3: The third icon will adjust lighting. You will want to use this adjustment to switch lighting for outdoor/indoor videos.

Icon 4: The next icon is where you adjust the megapixels of the image size.

Icon 5: The last icon is for exposure adjustments.

When adjusting image resolution and image quality please realize that the higher the resolution the larger the file size. Large video files consume device memory at a fast rate, and our Nexus is only equipped with 16Gb. If lower resolution pictures or videos are acceptable you may decide to use lower settings in order to store more files in your tablet memory.

Video Orientation:

You can hold your Android tablet vertically or horizontally when you take pictures or record videos. They may look fine on your screen, but if you record when the tablet is in vertical position and send the video via email it will arrive ‘sideways’. mailVU’s Android app automatically adjusts for orientation so the videos will appear in the proper orientation. Be aware that the auto-rotation of the video is not a native feature on the tablet. If you use a video sharing app make sure it automatically aligns the orientation like mailVU.

What video format is used by the Android Camera on the tablet?

Our Nexus tablet recorded the videos in MP4 format. Other Android devices, including some phones, will record in 3gpp. Format could be an issue if you send a video and the recipient cannot play that format on their device. To address this potential issue mailVU automatically encodes the video into multiple formats, and will stream a format that works on the receiving device. If you use a different video sharing app make sure it converts the format like mailVU does, otherwise you risk the recipient not being able to watch the video.

Gallery app:

Android Gallery IconYour videos will all be saved in the Gallery folder. Press on the Gallery app to access all your saved videos and pictures. If you select an item and press Share, you will have several options to share the video including email or a 3rd party app such as mailVU.


Capture an image of the tablet screen:

If you want to take a picture of your Android tablet screen hold the Power and Down-Volume buttons simultaneously for a 3-4 seconds until you hear a click. Screen capture images are not stored in DCIM with your photos or videos. Instead they are stored under Internal Storage, Pictures folder, Screenshots.

Transfer video files to your computer:

Connect your tablet to your computer with the original USB cable. Not all USB cables are the same, so be careful about using other brand’s cables; they may not allow you to transfer files. Once you connect your tablet to your computer use the file manager to open the folders on your device. On the Nexus 10 tablet we clicked on the Internal Storage directory which opens up all the folders. Your Android videos are stored in the DCIM folder, sub-folder Camera. Select your files and copy or move them to your computer.

Android Tablet Video Sharing Options:

Tablets do not offer MMS video messaging. You can email the video or use one of the video sharing apps. Current options include mailVU, Snapchat, Viddy, and SocialCam. Your choice of 3rd party apps depends on how you want to share the video. Some apps like mailVU are designed for one-to-one video messaging, and have options for self-destruct. Other apps are social and post videos for anyone to view. Many apps will recording time to 30 seconds, or in the case of Vine, 6 seconds. If you need the ability to send full length videos look for apps like mailVU that will not cut you off.

mailVU Android Camera app for sharing videos:

When mailVU decided to build an Android video email app we created the following features:

  • The ability to record and send full-length video email messages
  • Encode every video to multiple formats and stream the correct version to the playing device
  • Rotate for proper orientation
  • Even though there is an email sharing option on the tablet, mailVU recognized that storage is limited on mobile devices. We stream the video email instead of sending large files.
  • To encourage use we made mailVU’s video sharing app free to download from Google Play.
  • You don’t need to sign up for a mailVU account, but if you do, you can login to save videos online and to apply the branding from your account.
  • Businesses like to use video in their marketing efforts, so mailVU’s Business Plan and Business Pro plans can add user branding to their Android video messages
  • mailVU is open to customization of the app for Corporate clients

The Android tablet has become popular, but at this time is behind Apple’s iPad in total sales. If you have an iPad, mailVU has a similar video sharing app. Download it for free from iTunes.

We hope this article was helpful in understanding how to access the tablet Camera and Gallery, how to adjust the settings, and how to share videos with others. Don’t forget to bookmark this page in case you need it later. And best of luck with your new Android Tablet!

Related post: mailVU Video Sharing Apps offer Branding

Related post: Improve Video Sharing on Android

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