Monthly Archives: June 2012

Use Ashot to Capture Apps running on Android Device

I’m developing a web app for a customer of Economy-x-Talk and needed a way to record demos for the customer. The web app will mostly run on Android and I was trying to make screenshots and videos with my Android tablet but couldn’t get it to work without hacking around in places that I’d rather leave alone at this point.

So, I searched the net and found Ashot. Ashot appears to work almost entirely “just like that” on my Mac OS X machine. This is what I did.

1) First I downloaded Ashot for Mac.

2) Next I downloaded and installed the Android SDK (actually, I had it installed already) and copied the file /Developer/android-sdk-mac_x86/platform-tools/adb to /Developer/android-sdk-mac_x86/tools/adb.
3) On my Android, I opened Settings/Apps, activated Unknown Sources (I don’t know if this is really necessary but it worked for me) and selected Settings/Apps/Development where I activated USB Debugging and Stay Awake.

4) Then I connected my Android tablet to one of the two on-board USB ports of my Mac

5) I turned on the tablet and fired up Ashot-1.1.jar and chose Set Capture Folder from the file menu and set it to my Downloads folder. Later I changedit to another folder inside my Downloads folder. I suppose you might want to use a folder inside your documents folder.

6) I chose Set Android SDK Folder from the File menu and opened /Developer/android-sdk-mac_x86/.

7) I restarted Ashot-1.1.jar and it connected to my tablet automcatically.


The app also has a few downsides. Sounds are not recorded and it only captured PNG files.

If you start a “movie” capture, it just starts making many PNG files and you need to make a movie out of it yourself. You can use PowerPoint, iPhoto, HyperStudio and even GIMP to make movies or GIF animations.

The default background is black. You can change it in the Options window, but the change has an effect only after restarting Ashot.

The app is rather slow and won’t let you make a smoothly playing movie, but I think it is sufficient for a live demo with a beamer for example and at least this app lets you make screenshots of apps running on your device.

Download an application package here