How To Take Screenshots With Your Android Device

Taking screenshots on Android isn’t as easy as it should be. If this were an iOS blog, this post wouldn’t even be necessary since this feature is so easy. But because there is no native way to take a screenshot in the Android environment, the whole thing is much more complicated. There are a few of ways to do it, we’ll go over them here.
How to take a screenshot if your Android is rooted – Drocap2
By far the easiest way to take a screenshot on your Android device is to use a free Market app called drocap2. If you’re looking for instructions on how to root your phone, you can find them around this site or on Google. Just search the Android Market for the app and install it on your device.
Dropcap 2 has 3 modes that you can use to take screenshots: Shake trigger, Timer Trigger, and Notify Trigger. Shake trigger will take a screenshot after you shake the device, Timer will let you set an interval that the app will take a screenshot after, and Notify will place an easy icon in your notifications panel that you can click whenever you’d like to take a screenshot. After the screenshot is taken, Dropcap2 will put it in a “drocap2″ folder on your phone’s SDCard.
How to take a screenshot if your Android is unrooted – SDK Method
If for any reason you don’t want to root your device, the process for taking screenshots is a little bit more complicated–it requires connecting your phone via USB to a PC that has the Android SDK installed.

  1. Download the Android SDK for your platform.
  2. Plug your phone into your computer and run the “DDMS” tool–it should be in the /Tools folder of the SDK folder, wherever you installed it.
  3. Click your phone in the upper left-hand “Name” box inside DDMs, and then go to the Device menu and select “Screen Capture.”
  4. Go on your phone, make sure the screen is displaying what you’d like to take a picture of, then select “Refresh” in the DDMS window.
  5. If DDMS displays the correct image, just hit save–you’ll be good to go!

Hopefully Google will improve this functionality in future versions of Android–it’s quite the ammunition for Apple flamers :)

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