Of all the things in the world, why am I concerned with getting screenshots on a phone. What can I say? That has become a pet peeve of mine. Getting a screenshot should be as simple as hitting Print Screen. Phones do not have that luxury and iPhone especially has very few hardware keys. To get a screenshot on an iPhone you have to use two hardware keys.

One has to press the power-on button and power-off button to get a screenshot. Remember that both the buttons have to be pressed in unison and they have to be in sync. If your synchronized effort is a hit then you will hear a nice little flashing sound. If not then you will go back to the home screen. It needs practice and patience. At least it is straight forward.

Getting a screenshot of the Android phone isn’t so easy. Let me show you couple of pictures :

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Those are the screenshots from Micromax A60. For me to get those two pictures I had to spent two days figuring things out. May be because I am new to Android. Let me lay out the process to get a screenshot on Android.

  1. Install JDK (1.6 or later)
  2. Install Android SDK
  3. Run DDMS.bat file in the sdk tools folder.
  4. If you are lucky then a good window comes up. If not then a bad window comes up and you will be severely abused.
  5. Enable USB Debugging on your phone.
  6. After you get past #4, connect your phone to the computer.
  7. If you are lucky then the phone will be recognized. If not then you will end up with a bunch of ?????. Screen Capture tool throws a big X mark.
  8. When that happens, you basically are clueless. All the information on the net will only get you till #7 and hope that it works. What would happen if it doesn’t work at #7? You basically have to get creative. Restore the phone to factory settings, Enable USB Debugging again and then you will get nice screenshots. Two more to celebrate my victory :

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9. And finally, you can take screenshots like crazy by the Screen Capture tool.

From the look of it, getting a screenshot on an iPhone looks easier. For the uninitiated it probably is. The real power of the Andriod OS kicks in only after you get past the 7-9 steps above. You can basically take a screen shot at every small change in the screen of an application. Something which is very difficult in iPhone.