Aug 4, 2011
It boggles the mind that there isn’t a simple mechanism for taking screenshots on Android. I can’t think of a single good reason for this ability not to be turned on, or for the amount of rigamarole — yes, rigamarole — required to add it. I know this is going to shock everyone, but my phone isn’t rooted and I have no desire to root it, ever. But, you know, every Thursday, it sure would be nice to be able to take clear, quick pictures of the interface.
Enter No Root Screenshot It. From the title, the true purpose of this application may be confusing to some, and while they may find it completely shrouded in mystery, I’ll try to make it 100% clear: No Root Screenshot It is an app for Android that allows you to take a screenshot of your Android device’s screen. And the best part? You don’t have to root your phone.
Finally, you can take screenshots of your phone’s interface in various states of being and have them conveniently stored on your phone for later retrieval. Like this one, for example:
Once you’ve got the app set up, you can choose from a variety of options to take a screenshot. For example, you can “pin” a button to the notification bar and tap it to take a shot. Or, if you’re in a game or other app that doesn’t show the notification bar, you can simply shake your phone. You can set a delay, or have the shot taken immediately. There are a few other options you can set, including where to store the images, image format, size and more. All in all, taking a screenshot is an extremely simple process. Getting the app to work, however, isn’t.
Unfortunately, just because you don’t have to root your phone doesn’t mean there isn’t still rigamarole associated with taking a screenshot. For one, the app requires you to install the ScreenshotItEnabler application on your PC or Mac (no option for Linux users). You then have to set your phone to go into “USB Debugging” mode when you plug in the USB cable. Next, you connect your phone to your computer via USB cable, run the “ScreenshotItEnabler” application and enable the ScreenshotIt app on your phone.
After that’s finished, you can snap as many screenshots as you like, until you reset your phone. At which point, you’ll have to go through the entire enabling process again. But that’s the least of the problems with this app.
I had hoped No Root Screenshot It would be the answer to my prayers, except that it doesn’t seem to work very well. Shots of the phone’s home screen come out just fine, but what about shots of games and apps? Twitter, Google+, the web browser, text messaging and other apps didn’t work at all. Meanwhile, it crashed almost every game I tried it with.
At its worst, No Root Screenshot It would crash my phone and need to be reset if I tried using it with an app it didn’t like. Of course, that means going through the whole enabling process one more time. Quite annoying. Given the US$4.99 price tag, I’d recommend skipping this one.