How to take Android Screenshots

For those of you wondering how I made the super awesome screenshots in the previous post.  It’s really easy.  Apparently there’s a $3 app that does something similar, but you can do it all for free if you have Java on your machine and have downloaded the Android SDK.  I got the steps to do this from “Taking screenshots on an Android-based phone”.

I’m going to quote a fair bit of their instructions, and make one or two modifications as necessary:

Step 1: Enable USB Debugging
On your Android phone (in this case, the G1), go to Settings, then Applications, and then Development. Check the checkbox for "USB debugging."


Step 2: Download the Android SDK
Download the SDK for your platform here. Google also has some great installation documentation if you get lost. You will need to make sure you have a current copy of the JDK.

They then go on to say that you’ll need Eclipse to carry on, but you shouldn’t.  All the functionality is contained in the SDK.  I’m working on Windows XP, so your mileage may vary on other OS’s.

Go ahead and plugin your Android handset into a USB port on your computer, if it is not plugged in already.

Step 3: Run DDMS
After configuring Eclipse or whatever IDE you use to work with Android, you need to open up the DDMS application from within the "tools" folder in the Android SDK’s main folder.
After DDMS launches, select your handset from the menu on the left (it should be the only device listed). You might see an error message, but the debug tool should be loaded. Then, click CTRL-S on your keyboard. This will bring up the "Device Screen Capture" interface. From here, a static image is captured from what is appearing on your handset. You can save the image (nicely defaulted as PNG) and then refresh to your heart’s content to grab updated or different screenshots from your phone.

That should be it… Easy and quick screenshots.  Just remember, if you choose to make the SD card accessible to your PC by doing the following, then you won’t be able to use it on your phone for your demo’s:

01 - Mount SD Card via USB But if you don’t do that, then the phone should operate like normal.

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