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How To Record Without Holding the Button in Snapchat

Posted by Jamie on November 7, 2019

Let’s be honest, having to hold the record button while making a Snap isn’t the most arduous of tasks. However, if you’re trying to be creative with your shot or use a tripod, having to hold it down does pose a challenge. If you use an iPhone you have options, as you can actually record without holding the button in Snapchat with a neat iOS feature. If you use Android, though, you’ll need a workaround.

Snapchat may be the land of the selfie, but more people than ever before are trying new things to get noticed. Both individuals and brands are turning to Snapchat over Facebook and with millions of users all fighting for attention doing the same poses, you have to be creative to stand out.

That’s the only time having to hold the record button is a pain. Even then it isn’t an insurmountable problem as you will soon see.

Hands-free recording in Snapchat for iPhone

If you have an iPhone and want to record without holding the button in Snapchat you can use an accessibility feature built into iOS to do just that. Called AssistiveTouch, the feature is designed to make the phone easier to use if you have difficulties with motor skills or with the dexterity required to use hardware buttons on a phone.

  1. Select Settings and go to Accessibility on your iPhone.
  2. From there, select Touch and then AssistiveTouch.
  3. Toggle AssistiveTouch to on (make the switch green). You should see a small grey square appear on the screen with a white circle in the middle.
  4. After you’ve turned AssistiveTouch on, scroll down and select Create New Gesture
  5. Press and hold the center of the phone screen until the blue progress bar at the bottom completes.
  6. Save and name your Gesture.
  7. Open Snapchat and you should see the grey square again.
  8. Select the square and tap Custom.
  9. Select the Gesture you just created. You should now see a grey circle appear in the middle of your Snapchat screen. This circle will perform the custom gesture you just created (i.e., it will hold a button for a few seconds).
  10. Drag this grey circle on top of the Snapchat record button.
  11. The recording should begin after a 1-second delay.

You can now record your Snap without having to hold down the record button. You can place your phone on a tripod, in a holder, or do whatever you like. This gesture only lasts eight seconds, so you won’t get the full Snapchat ten-second exposure, but it’s good enough for most needs.

If you don’t want the gray circle on your phone all the time or only want to use hands-free recording occasionally, perform the steps above to create a Gesture and then toggle off AssistiveTouch. The circle will disappear but your saved Gesture will remain. You can then just toggle it on and off as you need to.

Workaround to record without holding the button in Snapchat for Android

Unfortunately, there is no Android version of this feature. Even though the OS has accessibility features, the ability to create a gesture is not one of them. However, you can work around it if you use an eraser and elastic band with your phone. Yes, I know it’s a little clunky, but it works – I tested it myself.

You will need either a small eraser or to cut the top of a pencil to free up the eraser and a strong elastic band. Place the eraser over where the Snapchat record button sits on the screen and tie the elastic around the screen to hold it firmly in place. Set Snapchat to record and it should continue recording for the full ten seconds.

The trick is to get the elastic band tight enough to hold the record button down without snapping. The softness of the eraser means your screen won’t get damaged so there is no worry there.

The alternative is to switch controls so a volume button starts recording and use the elastic there instead. Again, you need to make the elastic tight enough to hold the button down. Another alternative is to use a phone tripod and use the clamp to hold down the volume button to record. It’s tricky to time it right but it is possible.

Bonus Snapchat Tips and Tricks

To help make up for Snapchat’s lack of hands-free recording, we’ve compiled a few tips and tricks to help you get a little extra out of the app.

Snapchat Can Tell You What Song Is Playing

Using Shazam, Snapchat can quickly detect which song you are listening to (as long as it’s not too obscure). The fastest way to use this feature is to simply press and hold the Snapchat viewfinder while a song is playing. The app should automatically come up with the song title.

If that’s not working, you can press and hold on the viewfinder for a few seconds, until alternate lens options appear. Then, below those lenses, tap the Scan option, scroll to the left, and select the Music option. This will let the app know what you are trying to scan for rather than trying to conduct a general scan.

Share Snapchat Stories Outside Of The App

It used to be that Snapchat Stories created in the app stayed in the app. Now, though, you can share your stories with anyone on any platform easily. Just press and hold on the story you want to share, tap Share when it appears, and send your stories wherever you want them to go!

New Hands-Free Recording Solutions Are On The Way!

These Android workarounds are less than ideal but Snapchat is apparently trialing hands-free recording so you may not need to use them for long. A piece in Mashable from last year said the company was testing hands-free recording for videos up to 60 seconds long. I haven’t heard anything since but if that’s an upcoming feature, we will all be able to get more creative on Snapchat – and that’s not a bad thing!

Do you know of any other ways to record without holding the button on Snapchat? A more usable or elegant way to record without using the record button on Android? Tell us about them below if you do!

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