Android

Taking Screenshots of your Android App

By November 30, 2011November 20th, 2020No Comments

As a result of some support questions from people having trouble taking screenshots of their Andromo apps I decided to write this short (long?) tutorial. This tutorial is meant as a companion to the How to take screenshots of your application knowledge base article. The big difference between this tutorial and the knowledge base article is the detail this tutorial will go into.

Note: This article assumes that you are running the Microsoft Windows operating system. If you are running a Mac (OS X) please contact us and let us know and we will create a step-by-step tutorial for you. If you are running Linux…well you probably don’t need a step-by-step tutorial do you?

Step 1: Turn on USB debugging

Before being able to take screenshots, you must enable USB Debugging on your Android device so that the Android tools can interact with it. You can do this by selecting Settings > Applications > Development on your phone or tablet and enabling the USB Debugging option.

From the home screen press the menu button to bring up the options menu, and then select settings.

Settings

Press the Menu Button and select Settings

In the Settings area scroll down a bit until you see an item labeled “Applications” in the list. Select the “Applications” item.

Select the Applications option

Select the Applications option

In the Applications settings area select the item labeled “Development”.

Then select Development

Then select Development

In the Development settign simple ensure that the “USB debugging” option has been enabled.

Finally ensure that USB debugging has been turned on

Finally ensure that USB debugging has been turned on

Step 2: Install the Android SDK

In order to take screenshots you need to install the Android Software Development Kit (SDK). To do this visit the Android SDK download page and download the SDK installer:

Andoird SDK

Android SDK Download page

You will want the recommended Windows download:

Recommended download link

Recommended download link

Click on the link for the Android SDK installer (circled in the image above) if the name of the link has changed choose the link with the “(Recommended)” text and the .exe file extension. When you click on the link a dialog may popup asking you what you want to do with the file. If it does, click the “Run” button:

Download and run the SDK Installer

Download and run the SDK Installer

If you do not get a dialog like this, simply save the file onto your hard drive and then launch the executable (double-click on it) when the download has finished.

When the download has finished and the setup is launched, you may be presented with a User Account Control (UAC) dialog:

UAC Dialog

UAC Dialog

Simply click the yes button to continue on with the installation. During the install you may be prompted to install the Java SE Development Kit. If you are click on the “Visit java.oracle.com button”:

Install the Java JDK

Install the Java JDK

Clicking on that button will bring you to the JDK download website. Scroll down a bit and click on the JDK download link, this will bring you to another page where you can select the correct download.

First accept the license agreement by selecting the “Accept License Agreement” radio button. Then select the correct download for your computer. Either the 64-bit or 32-bit download, which you choose will depend on the type of computer that you have. Information on how to determine which version of windows you are running can be found on the 32-bit and 64-bit Windows FAQ.

JDK Windoes Downloads

JDK Windoes Downloads

When you have determined the correct links, click on the link and begin the JDK download. As before with the Android SDK simply select the Run button if you are given the chance, or save the executable to your computer and then launch it by double-clicking on it. If the UAC dialog comes up again select yes to authorize the installation.

You should be able to accept all of the default settings for the JDK install. Once the JDK has finished installing, go back to the Adroid SDK installer, click the back button to bring you to the Welcome setup screen, and then click the next button again. This should allow you to move passed the check for the JDK.

The third screen you will see in the Android ADK Tools Setup is the “Choose Install Location” screen:

Choose Install Location

Choose Install Location

Make a note of the destination folder. It will be something similar to:

C:\Program Files\Android\android-sdk

Or

C:\Program Files (x86)\Android\android-sdk

Or

C:\Program Files (x86)\Android\android-sdk-windows

Continue with the installation accepting all of the default settings. Once the installation has complete click the “Next” button to navigate to the last screen in the install. Uncheck the “Start SDK Manager” checkbox and click the finish button to exit the Setup.

Step 3: Install the Platform Tools

Now open up Windows explorer and browse to the folder where you installed the Android SDK.

Android SDK Folder

Android SDK Folder

Next go into the tools directory (e.g. C:\Program Files\Android\android-sdk\tools) and right click on the android file and select “Run as administrator”:

Launch the Android tool as an Administrator

Launch the Android tool as an Administrator

Note: If you are running Windows XP you should be able to simply double-click on the “Android” file to launch it.

Now check the checkbox beside the “Android SDK Platform-tools” item and the “Google USB Driver package” item. You can install more items but these are the two that you will need:

Install the Android additional tools

Install the Android additional tools

Next click the Install button and install the packages that you have selected. This will bring up the “Choose Packages to Install” dialog. You can then select “Accept All” radio button to accept all of the license agreements and then click the Install button to begin the installation:

Choose Packages to Install

Choose Packages to Install

During this process you may be asked to restart the ADB manager, select yes to do this.

Once the installation has finished press the close button to close the Android SDK Manager Log dialog and then exit the Android SDK Manager.

Step 4: Start the DDMS Tool

Now from within the tools directory (e.g. C:\Program Files\Android\android-sdk\tools) double-click on the ddms file to launch the Dalvik Debug Monitor (DDMS) tool:

Launch the DDMS

Launch the DDMS

Once the DDMS tool launches you should see something similar to the following:

Android DDMS Running

Android DDMS Running

Step 5: Connect your Android Device

The next step is to connect your Android device to your PC using the USB cable that came with your device. Make sure that you have turned your device on before connecting it to your computer. If all goes well you should see your device appear in the device section of the DDMS tool. If it does not appear, you will need to install the correct drivers for your Android device. The list of drivers can be found on the Android OEM USB Drivers page.

If you do need a driver, shut down the DDMS tool, and disconnect your Android device from the computer. Then download the appropriate driver for your Android device. Once the driver installation has completed restart the DDMS tool and reconnect your device to the computer.

Some device manufacturers make it difficult to find the correct driver for different devices. If you run into trouble finding the driver please contact your device manufacturer directly.

Once everything is installed and connected you should see your device in the DDMS:

A connected Android device

A connected Android device

Step 6: Take the screenshot

Now select your device in the Device pane and then from the DDMS main menu select Device | Screen Capture:

Start the DDMS Screen capture

Start the DDMS Screen capture

This will launch the “Device Screen Capture” window and you will now be able to capture as many screenshots are you want:

Now you can take screenshots

Now you can take screenshots

Step 7: Relax

That’s it. Now you have your screenshots, and you will be able to create proper listings for your Andromo apps in the Android Market. So take your screenshots and then take a break…you’ve earned it!