It took me 50 minutes to get a screenshot of my Android phone, but dammit I did it! #MissionAndroidScreenshot


Android-home-screenshot

This is the home screen on my Nexus One

One of the major advantages of the iPhone over Android is the quick ability to snap a perfect screenshot of the current phone view. You just press the home button and the power button; the screen flashes white briefly a la Lost; bam, you have screenshot.

On Android, to get a screenshot you apparently need to become a developer first. There's a tactic called "rooting" that I chose not to pursue because I'd like to go to sleep on the same day I woke up. Instead, I found this mostly-useful article and followed its instructions. I did take advantage of my physical proximity to The Onion's head developer when I couldn't run an app from the command line.

typing "android" failed

typing "./android" worked

Damn the precision of UNIX. It's been a while since I've had to muck around on a command line.

So the way this screenshot app works is it grabs the image of your phone through a USB connection to your computer, and it's your computer which actually captures the device's screen. This doesn't solve the case of me being out in the field, not anticipating the need for a screenshot, and having to take one. This only works for "planned" screenshots, but it's a start.

For a truly useful experience, I will need to root the device. I couldn't just have this experience on my own. I live-tweeted it, and I found a wonderful Twitter mate, Dylan Spencer, who has recommended dropcap2 as an on-device screenshot app once I go all in. You know what they say, "once you go root, you never go back." But they also say, "once you know what 'root' means, you sleep alone."

This geek out moment has been made possible by: a sense of curiosity, misplaced priorities, market competition and the letter 'G'