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AShot: A Handy Screenshot Tool for Android

Jessica Cam Wong 22-08-2011

<firstimage=”//” />android screenshot appI finally got my first Android handset, a good old HTC EVO 4G, with Android 2.3.3 pre-installed and it’s been great. Two things that are slightly annoying though are first, the battery life and second, the fact that taking a screenshot takes a bit of setup.


I’ve been able to remedy the first problem with JuiceDefender, an app I found in our Top 100 Android Apps page The Best Android Apps on the Google Play Store for 2019 Looking for the best Android apps for your phone or tablet? Here's our comprehensive list of the best apps for Android. Read More , but the second one -I thought the process would take too long  – so I didn’t bother to learn the process. That was until I found out the article that Ryan authored at the end of 2009, detailing how to capture screenshots on an Android device How To Capture Screenshots With Your Android Mobile Phone Read More with the Android SDK Manager and the built-in screenshot tool, Dalvik Debug Monitor. It turns out, it’s really not that hard after the initial setup.

The Dalvik Debug Monitor from the SDK manager is a good way to get screenshots of your Android handset, but I’ve found another tool that makes things a lot easier if you find yourself needing Android screenshots quite a bit.

AShot, is an open-source screenshot and screencasting tool. You can easily view what’s on your Android handset on your computer screen and more. Read on to find out more about what makes this a good alternative to the built-in Dalvik Debug Monitor.

Setting Up

For the purposes of this article, you’ll need the Android SDK Manager, an USB sync cable, AShot, and your phone, of course. For more details on what to do after installing the Android SDK Manager, you can consult Ryan’s article How To Capture Screenshots With Your Android Mobile Phone Read More . To summarize it, here are a few tips:

    • You don’t actually have to download the executable file.

android screenshot app

  • The zip file of the SDK Manager will do just fine. Just extract the contents, make a note of the location where you extracted the android-sdk-windows.
  • Right-click on the SDK Manager and select Run as Administrator.

android screenshot

  • Install and update the first entry, Android SDK Platform-tools. For the other entries, simply choose Reject, which will ensure a speedier download for the actual components that you need.

android screenshot

  • Also, select the Google USB driver from Third-party Add-ons in the Available Packages tab.
    android screenshot
  • Connect your phone to your computer via the USB sync cable. If it’s your first time plugging in your phone to your computer, you might be prompted to install the necessary drivers, which you should. Once that’s done, on your phone, go to Menu > Settings > Applications > Development and check the box for USB debugging.
    android screenshot capture
  • Now run the ddms.bat file in the tools screenshot capture
  • Make sure this windows pops up, with your Android phone listed on the left panel. This will ensure AShot runs properly.
    android screenshot capture
  • Now, download and install AShot. When you first launch it (it will show up in the Start menu as Android Screen Capture), it will ask you to choose the location of your android-sdk-windows, which you made a note of in the first bullet point. Once you browse to that location and click on OK, you’ll be able to see what’s on your Android phone on your computer screen.

AShot: A Handy Screenshot Tool for Android last

What You Can Do With AShot

AShot: A Handy Screenshot Tool for Android SAM 0343


How is AShot different from using the Dalvik Debug Monitor, you ask? With AShot, screen capturing requires minimal effort. There’s no need to click on the refresh button every time your Android handset’s screen changes. AShot displays what’s on your device on your computer screen in real-time, with just a little lag. There are also keyboard shortcuts for things like going fullscreen, rotating clock- and counterclockwise, etc.

AShot: A Handy Screenshot Tool for Android 2011 08 14 132224

You can also set a capture folder and click on the Start Capture button to automatically log all of your handset activity in screenshots.

android screenshot app


To record a screencast The Best Settings & Formats for Capturing Videos for YouTube Read More , I’d suggest using Camstudio A Thorough Look At CamStudio As An Effective Screencasting Tool Read More for Windows or the web-based How to Create a Screencast Like a Pro with These 6 Online Tools Read More Screenr, both of which support screencasting in HD resolution.

If you get stuck in any step, simply go to the AShot developer’s instruction page or ask in the comment section below.

Image Credit: Mike Saechang

Related topics: Screen Capture, Screencast.

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  1. David Prosser
    September 15, 2011 at 7:21 pm

    Hold power button then hit the menu button, screengrabs on gingerbread, no rooting neccessary

    • Jessica Cam W.
      September 15, 2011 at 8:58 pm

      That sounds amazing but I think that only works for certain brands of phones with Gingerbread since that method doesn't work on my HTC EVO. What phone do you have?

  2. John
    August 23, 2011 at 5:15 pm

    I just found out that it will only work without being jailbroken for Atrix and Droid X2.

  3. John
    August 23, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    AndroSS is free, doesn't need the phone to be jailbroken, and works great on my Droid X2.

    • Jessica Cam W.
      August 24, 2011 at 4:20 pm

      "Will not work without root unless you have an Atrix or a Droix X2" - from the AndroSS Market page.

      Thanks for the suggestion though. It'll be helpful for Atrix or Droid X2 owners.

  4. Mark O'Neill
    August 23, 2011 at 5:04 pm

    Not everyone has the technical knowledge to root their phone, and many people don't want to root it.  

    It's ridiculous that you have to root the phone in order to take a simple screenshot.  It should be as simple as clicking a button and saving the screenshot onto your computer.

  5. Kevin
    August 23, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    Add the following to your article.  This is needed for AShot to work.
    Copy adb.exe from platform-tools to tools folder.Also copy AdbWinApi.dll and AdbWinUsbApi.dll from platform-tools to toolsfolder.

  6. Anonymous
    August 23, 2011 at 6:32 am

    I use screenshot it. well I hardly use it but still I've kept it with me.. :)

  7. Drew Perreault
    August 23, 2011 at 4:08 am

    you could just get that screenshot app that allows you to take a a screenie just by shaking your phone, or yelling at it lol sounds funny but it does work decently.

    • Mark O'Neill
      August 23, 2011 at 5:05 pm

      Again, you need a rooted phone to do that, which is out of bounds to many people.

      • Aibek
        August 24, 2011 at 7:24 am

        Agree, features like taking screenshot should be there by default. p.s. many people think that rooting or jailbreaking phone is something for geeks. It's just sounds too technical but actually very easy to do.