While taking a screenshot with iOS devices is as simple as pressing the power and home buttons together, accomplishing the same thing on Android smartphones and tablets is a somewhat cumbersome process. Basically there are two ways to do this:
- To root your phone and download an app for taking screenshots (for some reason it is required that your Android device is rooted), or
- To use Android SDK.
Today we’ll talk about the latter method. Here’s what you should do to take screenshots without rooting your device:
- First of all you’ll need to download, install and configure Android SDK, along with the USB drivers.
- Enable USB Debugging mode. You can do that from Settings -> Applications -> Development.
- Connect your Android device to a PC via USB cable.
- Go to the “tools” folder in Android SDK and start the batch file titled “ddms” to launch the Dalvik Debug Monitor Service. You should be able to see your device connected on top.
- Under the “Device” menu, within the Debugger window, click “Screen Capture” or press Ctrl + S.
Now that you have your screenshot, you can rotate it, save it or copy it to clipboard. If you opt to save the screenshot as a file, it will be saved in PNG format.
To save another screenshot, simply click Refresh and finally Done when you’re finished.
There’s one caveat, though — your memory card is not accessible while the device is in the debug mode. If you can live with that (i.e. you don’t need screenshots with photos and videos which are usually stored on a memory card), download the Android SDK and take it from there. Good luck. 😉