Taking Screenshots Of Android

The picture that you see to the left is a screen shot of the main home screen on my Nexus One. The screen shot isn’t particularly remarkable except for how much effort that it took me to actually be able to get the screen shot. Unlike the iPhone, which has a simple, on-device way to capture an image of what is on the screen, Android does not have a built-in way to take screen shots. Third party screen shot apps are available but they require the Android phone to be rooted, which is not something I want to do with my Nexus One.

The only official way to take a screen shot of an Android phone is to use the software development kit (SDK) that Google provides to write apps for Android. The process sounds more intimidating than it actually is, but I did run into some challenges. Fortunately, I found a PC World article on the Washington Post web site that provides good instructions with links to where to obtain the software you need to install on your PC.

I had problems running the SDK when part of the installation process needs to move files and the installation program kept telling me it couldn’t do so and suggested to turn off virus scanning. I temporarily disabled virus scanning but I also found that I had to temporarily disable Carbonite, which is an automatic back-up program that I use, before I could complete the installation.

After you install the Android SDK and the Java Development kit you need to run a program in the SDK called DDMS, which stands for Dalvick Debug Monitor. You will also need to turn on USB debugging mode on the phone before you plug it in to your PC by tapping Menu, Settings, Applications, Development, and checking the USB debugging check box.

Now that I have the ability to take screen shots of my Nexus One, I look forward to including more pictures in my blog posts. In another post I will provide an overview of the home screens on my Nexus One, but I am wondering if anyone recognizes the bridge that is in the picture that I am using for wallpaper?