One major shortcoming of Android OS till Android 2.3 Gingerbread was the inability to take screenshots, natively. However, small this feature may seem to some people, it is without a doubt a handy and much needed feature.
Thankfully, Google listened to Android users out there, and has added native screenshot taking capability in Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.
The bad part is that not all phones will be upgraded to Ice Cream Sandwich. You can refer to our unoffiical list of all phones which will and will not get the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update here.
Until Ice Cream Sandwich arrives for most phones out there, Android users need to root their handset to take screenshots. But, not everyone will like to go through the headache of the tedious process of rooting their phone, just for the sake of taking a screenshot.
Users can also take screenshots by installing the Android SDK on their PC. Irnocially, rooting an Android phone and taking screenshots is much easier than using the Android SDK to take screenshots.
Thankfully, MyPhoneExplorer – a popular suite for Android phones and Sony Ericsson’s dumbphones – allows users to take screenshot of their Android phone via their PC.
Here is how you can take screenshots of your Android phone, without rooting it -:
Step 1 – Download MyPhoneExplorer for PC from here, and for your Android phone from here. Also make sure that you have enabled USB Debugging on your Android phone. You can do so by going to Settings-> Applications->Development, and then selecting the “USB Debugging” option.
Step 2 – Start the MyPhoneExplorer client on your Android phone, and the main app on your PC. You need to specify which kind of phone – Sony Ericsson dumb phone or an Android OS powered phone – you are connecting to your PC.
Press F2 or go to File->Settings, and select the Android OS option from the Connection Menu. Also make sure the ‘Auto detect’ option is selected under the Connect via menu. When done, click on Ok.
Step 3 – Now, connect your Android phone to your PC via a USB cable. You won’t be able to take screenshots of your Android phone, if you connect it to MyPhoneExplorer via Wi-Fi.
Step 4 – Press F1 or select the Connect option from under the ‘File’ menu to connect your Android phone to your PC. When done, just go to the “Extras” menu, and select the “Phone Keypad” option. A new dialog box will now come up on the screen, which will show your Android phone’s current screen. Select the “Refresh Automatically” option for optimal performance.
Step 5 – On your Android phone, browse to the desired screen of which you want to take the screenshot, and then select the ‘Save as’ option in the MyPhoneExplorer app running on your PC.
And that’s it folks! You can take screenshots of your Android phone using MyPhoneExplorer from your PC.
P.S. – Chances are if you are using any of the latest Android handset from Samsung, HTC, Sony Ericsson or LG, your phone will already have in-built screenshot taking capabilities.