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Cover image for Matt's Tidbits #44 - How to take great screenshots on Android

Matt's Tidbits #44 - How to take great screenshots on Android

mpeng3 profile image Matthew Groves Originally published at Medium ・2 min read

Last time I wrote about using your phone’s sensors to add powerful behavior to your app. This week, I want to share a tip on how to take great screenshots on Android.

Yesterday, a coworker asked me how to take a screenshot on Android devices. Google’s official instructions say you should either:

  • Press and hold the power button down until a “Screenshot” button appears, which you can tap to capture one.
  • Press and hold the power and volume down buttons at the same time for a few seconds.

https://support.google.com/android/answer/9075928

It’s good to remember that this button combination may be different for different devices. And, you can always capture screenshots via Logcat within Android Studio too:
https://developer.android.com/studio/debug/am-screenshot

All of that being said, if you’re wanting to use these for presentation purposes, it can be difficult to make the screenshots look consistent, especially if you’re taking them over a period of time. Plus, nobody wants to see how many app updates or text messages you have in your screenshots.

Thankfully for us, Android has a “demo mode” which, with a few terminal commands, allows you to enforce a consistent and stripped down toolbar.

This article did a particularly good job of explaining how to make this happen:
https://android.jlelse.eu/clean-your-status-bar-like-a-pro-76c89a1e2c2f

The official documentation on using demo mode is available here:
https://android.googlesource.com/platform/frameworks/base/+/master/packages/SystemUI/docs/demo_mode.md

What useful protocols do you follow when taking screenshots? Share in the comments below! And, please follow me on Medium if you’re interested in being notified of future tidbits.

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This tidbit was originally delivered on March 1, 2019.

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Matthew Groves

@mpeng3

Software engineer with 10+ years of professional experience in C++, C#, Java, and Kotlin.

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