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The media capabilities in Jelly Bean will truly help Android devices reach their potential as full-featured multimedia systems. And in this lesson, I'll explain why that is from a developer's perspective. But before we get to the list of expanded media options, I wanted to show you how to take advantage of another Jelly Bean feature, native screen grabs. Screen capture is essential for any app developer because screen grabs are used in everything from documentation to marketing. Until now, you had to rely on a third party app to handle this essential chore, but no longer.
Let me demonstrate by going to my quick content screen. I'll swipe twice to go there from home, and now to initiate a screen capture, you press the lower side of the Volume button and the Power button simultaneously. You'll hear the camera snap, there is a bit of a flash, and you'll see the image briefly on your screen. Now let me go to the Gallery, which is swiping backwards and then tapping on Gallery, and there you'll see shots from the camera and also screenshots in two separate albums.
So let me tap the Screenshot option. Now from here, I have some key options laid out up top. I can share the image, send it in a message, or trash it. If I choose Share, and I'll tap that, you can see I have some initial options: Gmail, Bluetooth, Picasa and a few more if I tap See all, Google+ and Bump. Let me clear that menu by tapping outside of it. Now the screen capture area is just an extension of the gallery.
So I have all the same editing options that I do there. Let me tap to activate the top menu and then click Settings over on the right, and there you'll see Slideshow, Edit, Crop, and so forth. Let's try out cropping. So I'll click Crop, and there you can see the highlighted area with the four screen grab buttons, let me go so that I have just that area of the central image highlighted.
There is the right and the top and now I'll do the left, and let me tighten up that bottom just a little bit. Once that's done, I click OK in the upper right-hand corner. It saves the picture and there's my new cropped image. Native screen capture is pretty cool, but what about the other media capabilities? Well, they can be divided into General Media Options and enhanced audio capabilities. Under the General Media options, Android now has low-level MediaCodec access.
This opens the door for apps to incorporate both software and hardware codecs, so the range of formats that can be played back is greatly enhanced. There is also a new MediaRouter, which can determine where audio is output. Instead of just a headphone jack, there is also the possibly now of accessing the USB port, which extends docking and Bluetooth options. On the audio front, there have been a lot of upgrades. As I mentioned, there is now the possibility of USB audio.
Developers can also trigger recording after audio playback, which is great for prompting your users to start their own recording. The new multichannel support opens the door for richer media experiences for game players, music lovers, and video aficionados. Preprocessing audio is also built in, which allows for effects like noise suppression, auto volume game, and acoustic echo. And if you like working out or just taking long walks to an endless stream of music, you're going to love the new audio chaining capabilities.
If you're a developer of media-related apps, you've got to be psyched for all these new options. And if you develop apps of any kind, you've got to love the native screen capture functionality.
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