I have had my T-Mobile G1 since launch day, but there are many things I am still learning how to do. One of the first things I set out to learn was how to take screen shots on the G1 so I could use the images for the web. When I first asked this question, I was told to hook my phone up to my PC and use DDMS. The problem with that is I wanted to be able to take shots on the go as I tested applications in the real world away from my desk. Thankfully, user Koush has released the Screenshot application which does exactly what I need.
Let me start by saying that this application require root access. I will not be covering how to root your phone in this article but you can refer to the XDA forums for more information on the subject. The Screenshot app can be downloaded from the Android Marketplace or from Koush’s website. He has a basic write up of how the program works, but I’m going to explain how I use it.
Screenshot gives you three methods of capturing a shot:
- Use a delayed timer
- Hold down the camera button
- Assign a hot key to the application
The timer method is difficult to get timed just right and holding down the camera button will launch the Camera app after a screenshot is taken. The hot key method works best because it allows you to take shots at a more rapid pace and at the exact moment you wish.
In order to assign a hot key just browse to Settings and then Applications. You will find a Quick launch option which allows you to assign shortcuts to specific apps. I have chosen to launch Screenshot with Search + 0 and it works well for me. After the shortcut is set, you can launch the app at any time. The Screenshot app only works after it is running, so the first time you launch it you will see the insturctions menu. Just press the back key to return to whatever you were doing and then take your shot.
The other problem you will run into is the screen orientation. Most apps rotate when the keyboard is open, so I have installed Droidsans Tweak Tools in order to fix this. Now I can hold my G1 vertical and use the shortcut to take screen shots whenever I want. Sometimes the program will lag and you get a blank screen capture, but just press the back key to try again. All images are saved to the root directory of your SD card which allows easy transfer to your PC.