So, the iPhone OS has had the ability to take a screenshot since 2.0, simply hold down the sleep and home buttons for a couple seconds, and click, you’ve got a screenshot.
This is a great feature, and one lacking from Android’s base OS, i.e. there’s no button combination or included app that takes screenshots.
You can find apps that do this, but the easiest way is (h/t to this post):
- Download the Android SDK.
- Ensure you have the latest JDK installed.
- Connect the device to your computer via USB.
- Enable “USB Debugging” on the device in Settings – Applications – Development.
- Run the ddms app which lives in the Android SDK tools directory.
- Select the device in the left panel and press ctrl+s.
You can recapture the device’s screen by clicking Refresh in the resulting ddms window.
Step five could use a bit of detail. I simply ran ddms from the Mac’s terminal (i.e. ./ddms), but from what I’ve read, you can run it from Eclipse or another IDE. I went the easy route because don’t need to install an IDE just to take screenshots of my phone.
I posted this as much as a reminder for me, as a how-to for you.
This is an interesting deviation between what I’ve come to expect from iPhone and Android.
Screenshotting is a power user feature, exactly the kind that Apple would leave on the cutting room floor. Instead, it’s in the base iPhone OS. Maybe this was influenced by Mac’s native screenshot capabilities, which rule.
I would expect the opposite of Android, based on its geeky roots, i.e. screenshotting would be baked in and easy to use.
Update: Oliver (@osteinmeier) points out in comments, you can use an app call Shoot Me to take screenshots on rooted devices. It also happens to work on the EVO, no rooting required.
I tested it to be sure, and it’s actually quite fun to shout at your phone to take a screenshot. The screenshots go into a ShootMe directory on the SD card.
Thanks Oliver. Here’s his full comment:
I was quite surprised (when I was playing with my Droid) that I couldn’t take screenshots without jumping through the hoops you described.
But with the EVO there is now an (easier?) way: you can actually just use the “Shoot Me” app from the Market. On other devices is requires the phone to be rooted, but not on the EVO. It has quite interesting “trigger” mechanisms — either vigorously shake your phone or yell at it :)”
Credit: some guy on oratweet pointing me to http://www.androidguys.com/2010/05/24/android-screenshots-root-required/