5 Ways to Take Screenshots on Android

android-screenshots

You have lots of different ways to take screenshots on your Android device. Some are manufacturer-specific, some are operating system-wide, and some rely on dedicated apps from the Google Play Store. It can be difficult to make sense of the options and determine which is the best approach for your specific device. Let’s look at the most common methods for taking Android screenshots and introduce you to two of the best third-party apps. 1. Use the Android Screenshot Shortcut These days, taking screenshots using nothing more than your device is a breeze. Press and hold the Power + Volume Down…

Read the full article: 5 Ways to Take Screenshots on Android

android-screenshots

You have lots of different ways to take screenshots on your Android device. Some are manufacturer-specific, some are operating system-wide, and some rely on dedicated apps from the Google Play Store.

It can be difficult to make sense of the options and determine which is the best approach for your specific device. Let’s look at the most common methods for taking Android screenshots and introduce you to two of the best third-party apps.

1. Use the Android Screenshot Shortcut

These days, taking screenshots using nothing more than your device is a breeze.

Press and hold the Power + Volume Down buttons at the same time, and you’ll see a brief onscreen animation followed by a confirmation in the notification bar that the action was successful.

There’s a knack to getting the timing right. Press the power button too soon and you’ll lock your device’s screen. But press the volume button too soon and you’ll end up changing the volume.

Android Pie added a shortcut to take a screenshot on the power menu if you find that more convenient.

2. Use Manufacturer Shortcuts

Not all phones use the standard Android method.

For example, Samsung devices require you to press the Power + Home buttons to take a screenshot instead. Thereafter, the process is the same. You’ll be given an on-screen confirmation and the image becomes viewable in your gallery app.

Some phones use the standard method but also have additional options. For example, on some Sony devices, you can press the Power button to access the options menu. From there, you can take screenshots and record the screen.

Phones from Motorola, LG, and HTC all use the standard method.

3. Root Your Phone

Early versions of Android didn’t allow apps to take screenshots without rooting. It was a security feature designed to prevent malicious downloads from spying on you and stealing private information.

However, rooting your Android device opens you up to a world of possibilities. There are lots of apps in the Play Store that have a simple Take Screenshot button, specifically for use on old rooted versions of Android. We rounded some of them up in the best Android apps for taking better screenshots.

4. Use Third-Party Apps

Let’s take a look at a couple of the best third-party screenshot apps. Their basic functionality is the same as the stock method, but they offer some cool additional features that aren’t available natively.

Screenshot Easy

The first screenshot app to check out is Screenshot Easy. It app has some great usability functions. For example, it lets you take shots using a screen overlay button, a button in the notification bar, by shaking your device, or by using a widget.

There are also some great post-shot options. You can crop your screenshots, convert them to a ZIP file, edit the colors, and include time and date stamps. You can save images in either PNG or JPG format.

Lastly, Screenshot Easy has screen recording capabilities, including support for scrolling screenshots.

Download: Screenshot Easy (Free)

Super Screenshot

Super Screenshot is free to use and doesn’t include ads, making it a great choice for users who want a clean and easy-to-use screenshot app.

Perhaps its best feature is its ability to crop your screenshots before it commits them to memory. It also lets you resize your snaps, scribble on them, add text notes, and set various filters. To achieve the same results using the stock Android method, you’d need to download a photo editing app.

You can save photos directly to your phone’s SD card to save space, where appropriate.

Download: Super Screenshot (Free)

5. For Pre-Android 4.0 Devices…

android-sdk

Before the introduction of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich in October 2011, there was no way to take a screenshot using the operating system.

Thankfully, not many people are using ancient versions of Android on their phones. But if you’re forced to use Gingerbread or Honeycomb—perhaps because your main device is out of action and you’re using an old spare—you need to know how to take screenshots too.

The best method for non-rooted devices is to use the Android SDK. Yes, it’s cumbersome to set up, but it’s the most dependable approach.

You can download the SDK from the official Android website. Installing and setting up the SDK app is beyond the scope of this article, but we covered how to take a screenshot on old Android phones some time ago. Check out the No Root Screenshot It app if you want a simpler user interface.

Which Android Screenshot Method Do You Use?

To summarize, as long as you’re using Android 4.0 or later (and you probably are), your phone can take screenshots natively. If you’re looking for additional options, you should turn to a third-party app, and if you’re running an earlier version of Android, you’ll need to either root your device or use a desktop application.

If you’d like to learn more about Android, check out our Android beginner’s guide and stock Android apps you should replace.

Read the full article: 5 Ways to Take Screenshots on Android

How to Mirror Your Android Screen to a PC or Mac Without Root

android-mirror-pc-mac

Sometimes, you might want to see your Android phone’s screen on your PC. How do you do that? If you have rooted your Android device, it’s easy. But if you haven’t rooted, there are still some simple ways to get your phone or tablet’s screen to show on your PC or Mac. Why Mirror Android to Your PC? Why would you mirror your screen? There are plenty of reasons. You might be a developer in the middle of coding and want to check your app without having to constantly reach for your phone. You might want to share your pictures…

Read the full article: How to Mirror Your Android Screen to a PC or Mac Without Root

android-mirror-pc-mac

Sometimes, you might want to see your Android phone’s screen on your PC. How do you do that?

If you have rooted your Android device, it’s easy. But if you haven’t rooted, there are still some simple ways to get your phone or tablet’s screen to show on your PC or Mac.

Why Mirror Android to Your PC?

Why would you mirror your screen? There are plenty of reasons. You might be a developer in the middle of coding and want to check your app without having to constantly reach for your phone. You might want to share your pictures on a big screen without uploading them. Or you might need to give a presentation quickly while the projector is connected to a PC.

The quickest and easiest way, as you will find out, requires no installation on your phone, and a simple app for your computer.

What You’ll Need

Vysor, made by prolific Android developer Koushik Dutta, is the simplest way to get your Android screen onto your PC or Mac’s screen. Here’s what you need to get started:

  1. Download Vysor for Windows | macOS | Linux | Google Chrome (Free)
  2. A USB cable to connect your phone to your PC.
  3. An Android smartphone or tablet with USB debugging enabled.

As always, if your phone or PC has a USB-C port, then we recommend using a trusted USB-C cable that won’t destroy your devices.

Enable USB Debugging Mode on Android

enable usb debugging on android

We have a full explanation of what USB debugging mode is, but you don’t need to concern yourself with that here. All you need to know is how to enable it:

  1. Go to Settings > About phone (Settings > System > About phone on Android 8 Oreo and newer).
  2. Scroll down and tap Build Number seven times.
  3. Go back to Settings (Settings > System on Oreo and later) and enter the new Developer Options menu.
  4. Scroll down and enable USB debugging.
  5. Confirm the action when prompted.

Share Your Screen to Your PC or Mac via USB

Mirror android phone screen to PC with vysor

Now that you have USB debugging mode activated, the rest is simple.

  1. Start Vysor by searching for it on your computer (or via the Chrome App Launcher if you installed there).
  2. Click Find Devices and select your phone.
  3. Vysor will start up, and you’ll see your Android screen on your computer.
  4. Optional: You can set your phone to connect automatically every time you plug in the USB cable.

With this, you are ready to go. Your mouse and keyboard work within Vysor, so you can start any app you want and type in it too. There are plenty of apps that don’t have a web client, so this is a good way of using your physical keyboard for your phone’s apps.

Vysor’s Appeal Lies in Four Aspects

  1. You don’t need anything installed on your Android phone.
  2. It works on Windows, Mac, and Linux.
  3. The USB cable makes your screen reflect in almost real-time, as opposed to wireless solutions where there is distinct lag.
  4. You can interact with your phone’s screen through your computer.

Try it out and see how you like it. If it’s useful to you, you can pay ($2.50/month or $10/year) for Vysor Pro, which enables high-quality mirroring, wireless mirroring, and drag-and-drop file sharing.

How to Share Your Screen Wirelessly

If your phone runs on Android 5 Lollipop or later, Google has made it easier to mirror the screen of any device. For a wireless, cross-platform solution, Koushik Dutta has another app.

How to set up Android Mirroring with AllCast:

  1. Download: AllCast Receiver for Chrome (Free)
  2. Download: Screen Recording and Mirror for Android (Free)
  3. Make sure your computer and smartphone are on the same Wi-Fi network.
  4. Start AllCast Receiver through the Chrome App Launcher.
  5. Start Screen Recording and Mirror on your Android phone.
  6. In Screen Recording and Mirror, choose the Network Device that matches your PC. It will still start with Chrome @ followed by an IP address.

Just like that, your screen will be wirelessly mirrored on your computer. This is the easiest way to share your Android screen without the hassle of a cable, and it supports other devices on the same network too, including Fire TV, Apple TV, Roku, and more.

This method has a few disadvantages:

  1. You cannot interact with your screen through your PC. The interaction is limited to your phone itself, but you will see what’s happening on the big screen. Unfortunately, that means no typing with your computer’s keyboard on your phone.
  2. Unfortunately, there’s no way to remove annoying Mirror floating watermark. This can be a dampener for presentations and slideshows.

Rooted Is Still the Best Option

As Android has grown, it’s added so many features that only power users really need to root. But if screen mirroring is important to you, then I would still recommend you root because it gives you access to the best way to mirror Android to a PC.

The Android management client Airdroid offers a built-in protocol to wirelessly mirror a rooted Android phone to a Windows or macOS computer. It works for non-rooted phones too, but this requires a cable and works much like the aforementioned Vysor.

But with a rooted phone, you only need to be on the same Wi-Fi network to start mirroring immediately, without watermarks. And you can control the phone too, unlike the AllCast option above.

Don’t forget about the other ways to cast your screen, too.

Read the full article: How to Mirror Your Android Screen to a PC or Mac Without Root

The 13 Best Xposed Modules for Customizing Your Android Device

xposed-modules-marshmallow

The Xposed Framework is the most important tool for modding and tweaking Android. Xposed uses modules, small apps that plug directly into the operating system and give you total control over the look and feel of your phone. It’s so powerful, yet all the changes can be undone simply by deactivating or uninstalling the modules. The system works on most rooted phones and you can download the Xposed Installer from XDA Developers. In this guide we’ll take a look at the best Xposed modules, focusing on ones that have near-universal compatibility. How to Install Xposed Modules Most Xposed modules should…

Read the full article: The 13 Best Xposed Modules for Customizing Your Android Device

xposed-modules-marshmallow

The Xposed Framework is the most important tool for modding and tweaking Android.

Xposed uses modules, small apps that plug directly into the operating system and give you total control over the look and feel of your phone. It’s so powerful, yet all the changes can be undone simply by deactivating or uninstalling the modules.

The system works on most rooted phones and you can download the Xposed Installer from XDA Developers.

In this guide we’ll take a look at the best Xposed modules, focusing on ones that have near-universal compatibility.

How to Install Xposed Modules

Most Xposed modules should be installed directly from within the Xposed Framework app.

  1. Go to Downloads.
  2. Select the module you want.
  3. Swipe across to the Versions tab and hit Download.
  4. Click Install when prompted.
  5. Go to Modules and tick the box next to the box to activate it.
  6. Reboot your phone.

In a few cases, it’s recommended you download a version from the Play Store instead. We’ve linked to those where applicable. Remember to activate it, then reboot your phone to complete the installation.

1. Amplify Battery Extender

If you want to stretch your battery as far as it can go, look no further than Amplify. It’s perhaps best seen as a companion to the other top performance-boosting app, Greenify (which also has some Xposed functionality).

While Greenify focuses on apps running in the background, Amplify takes care of wakelocks. These occur when an app prevents your phone from entering deep sleep, sometimes for legitimate reasons, and sometimes because it is running amok.

If you’ve ever gone to bed with a fully charged phone and woken up to discover the battery has lost 40 percent overnight, it’s highly likely that wakelocks were the culprit. Amplify helps prevent that from happening.

Download: Amplify Battery Extender (Free)

2. GravityBox

GravityBox has always been among the biggest reasons to use Xposed. It’s an unbelievably comprehensive tool for modding and enhancing the Android user interface. This utility allows you to tweak and improve almost every part of the Android experience.

From adding an app launcher to the navigation bar, to customising LED notifications, to switching to an experimental left-handed mode, some of the enhancements are huge.

But it’s often the smaller tweaks that give the most satisfaction, like being able to press the volume buttons to skip tracks in your music player, or resizing any widget in your stock launcher.

3. XPrivacyLua

XPrivacyLua is a permissions manager that enables you to control which functions and data apps can actually access on your device. It’s a new and updated version of one of the most popular Xposed modules, XPrivacy.

With the introduction of granular permissions controls in recent versions of Android, XPrivacyLua may seem less useful than it once was. Yet every app automatically gets the internet access permission, whether they need it or not. This is normally for benign purposes, like gathering analytics data or delivering ads, but it could be a potential security issue too.

With XPrivacyLua, you can ensure that only those apps you want going online are allowed to do so.

4. Awesome Pop-Up Video

awseome pop-up video youtube

Awesome Pop-Up Video lives up to its name. It’s a fantastic app for multitaskers and procrastinators alike, as it enables you to watch a video in a little popup window while you’re working in another app.

The app has its own gallery of suggested videos, but it works in other players too, including the official YouTube app. Simply open your video, hit the Share button, choose Awesome Pop-up Video from the list, and you’re all set.

Download: Awesome Pop-Up Video (Free)

5. No Lock Home

Android has a few Smart Lock features that keep your phone unlocked under certain conditions, such as your location or proximity to a paired Bluetooth device.

One that’s absent is the ability to keep the phone unlocked when it’s connected to a particular Wi-Fi network. No Lock Home adds that feature, so you can set up a far larger number of secure locations where your phone does not need to stay locked.

6. ChromePie

ChromePie makes the Chrome browser more useable with one hand on big-screen phones. It borrows the “pie control” concept seen in numerous custom ROMs.

Hold your thumb on a specific area of the screen, such as a corner or one of the edges, and the pie controls appear as a semi-circle panel of icons. This module integrates with Chrome, and puts tab switching, bookmarks, and more within easy reach of your thumb.

7. BootManager

A lot of apps take liberties with your system resources, setting themselves to load whenever you boot your device. It can lengthen the startup time and waste power until Android decides to close them down itself.

You can nix that with BootManager. Just choose the apps you don’t want automatically launching and then reboot your phone. It’s like a more intelligent version of a task killer (which you should never use), and it can keep your less-used apps quiet until you actually need them.

8. NeverSleep

neversleep keep apps awake

Most of the time, you want your phone to sleep in order to save power. But sometimes that can be a real pain. Maybe you’re following a recipe, or just waiting for a long GIF to load in your favorite Reddit app. You don’t want the screen turning off in these cases.

The simple solution is the NeverSleep mod. All it does it present you with a list of every app on your phone. Choose the ones you want, and your phone will stay awake whenever they are running in the foreground.

9. XInsta

If you’re an Instagram user, there’s no doubt you’ll have come across content that you’d like to save locally. This could be a beautiful image to set as your phone wallpaper, or a GIF-worthy video.

While there are a few tools to help you download Instagram videos and photos, none are quite as easy as XInsta. Just install and activate the module, and the next time you open Instagram, you’ll see a download option under the three-dot menu button for each image.

There are a few other options too, including downloading stories and quickly seeing if a particular user follows you.

10. Settings Editor

The ability to tweak and configure Android is one of its greatest strengths. But there are so many options that lots of Android’s most useful settings are hidden.

A quick fix for this is to use the Settings Editor module to tidy up your phone’s Settings screens. You can change how they look, making them bigger or smaller or changing colors to make them more readable.

Better still, you can remove entire categories from the Settings screen, as well as individual options from within any category. By streamlining the settings, you’ll be able to find the ones you need more easily.

11. XposedNavigationBar

The XposedNavigationBar modules offers a number of ways to tweak Android’s navbar. This is the area at the bottom of the screen that contains the Back, Home, and Recent buttons.

Its best feature is to let you add an extra shortcut to the bar. This is small dot that you can tap to access a function you use often. You can set it to launch a specific app, open the notifications pane, show music controls, and much more.

12. Exi for SwiftKey

SwiftKey is one of the most popular third-party keyboards, making it one of the best ways to type faster on your Android phone.

Exi for SwiftKey makes it even better. This mod brings a number of features you might know from other keyboards, like swiping left and right to move the cursor as in Gboard.

It also adds traits from physical keyboards, like using Ctrl + C and Ctrl + V to copy and paste. And it introduces shortcuts, wherein you can enter longer words or phrases by just typing a few characters.

13. Xposed Edge

Android P is introducing basic gesture controls. But they’ve got nothing on Xposed Edge.

Xposed Edge is designed to make navigating a large-screened phone with one hand much easier. You can use a pie controller—similar to what we saw in ChromePie—across the entire interface. The app can also assign new functions to your phone’s physical buttons.

And you can create gestures to perform common tasks. These are tied to specific regions around the edge of your screen. The bottom-right area, for instance, is the perfect place for a Back gesture—just swipe your thumb right to left to return to the previous screen.

Download: Xposed Edge (Free)

Even More Modules for Your Android Phone

Xposed is a goldmine of hacks and mods, and is one of the best reasons why it’s still worth rooting your phone. Since mods are so simple to install and use, they’re a great option even for those who are less confident at tweaking their devices. And modules aren’t limited to Xposed, either.

These days, we recommend Magisk as the best way to root an Android device. It’s a systemless method that makes no lasting changes to your device, so it can be hidden or undone in an instant. Magisk also supports a heap of modules of its own—including a systemless version of Xposed.

If you can’t get enough of these awesome little hacks, check out our guide to the best Magisk modules for more way to enhance your Android device.

Read the full article: The 13 Best Xposed Modules for Customizing Your Android Device