Feb 23 AT 10:07 AM Admin 24 Comments

How To Take Screen Shots From Your Android Device

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.

Screenshot main screen

Screenshot main screen

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:

  1. Use a delayed timer
  2. Hold down the camera button
  3. 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.

Assign a shorcut

Assign a shorcut

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.

Author info coming soon...

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  • dragonv

    great job!

    • Dr.Jeckyl

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  • http://Yapabout.wordpress.com maximosis

    I cant take screenshots with my Mytouch 3g its rooted with the latest Cyanogen rom, but I cant set Hotkeys… ANy ideas?

    • damien

      Im also wondering if you can still set a hotkey when you’re using the Cyanogen ROM … ??

  • Pat

    Yea me either, when I press menu after I open the app. I only get 2 options. Set timer or exit app. Nothing about settings or hotkeys. Anyone know how to do this? BTW I’m using a MT3G, 32B, rooted with Hero rom.

  • http://droidcellphone.com Will

    Thanks for this. Its a great start and explanation of some functions in android os.
    I would highly recommend anyone wanting to do things like screenshots sign up as a developer and download the eclipse and sdk then learn it.

  • http://Website itjil

    any hope to take screenies on a backflip?

    • http://Website css626

      search ShootMe in the android market if your phone is rooted

  • http://Website bisongirl

    I have been trying to take a screenshot on my Hauwei Android from Metro pcs, and I can not figure out how to do it.. I’m not sure if you have to download an app or what.. But can someone please tell me how….

  • https://circlesoftapps.com Name (required)Gerard Cerchio

    I was not very happy about rooting my phone so I built a windows and a mac application that does the screen capture without rooting. You only have to turn on USB debugging. You can get a free download demo at https://www.circlesoftapps.com/?page_id=106

  • http://Website Guido
  • Dave

    You have to press both buttons almost simultaneously. The secret is to press the home (middle) button a split second ahead of the back (right) button.Simply put your index finger on the home button but don’t press it yet… then hover with middle finger over the back button but don’t touch otherwise (obviously) it will go to previous screen. You are now poised…Then go!
    A bit of practice makes perfect…. I can now do it at will and I don’t need some app getting in the way. But why did they make it so tricky when everything else is so easy?

    • Its very easy i almost did it in 1second..
      hold back key and press home(middle) button..u ll hear a capture sound that’s it…
      works on almost every android…..

  • Dave

    Well done! You understand it too… It certainly ain’t rocket science but they could have made it easier.

  • shariar

    Nice tip, For more ways this is good read: How to Take Screenshot on Android http://getandroidstuff.com/how-to-take-screenshot-with-samsung-galaxy-s-with-no-root/