Don’t get us wrong: we love our HTC Incredible, and we’re happy we made the switch away from the iPhone and AT&T.
But, for all of its advantages, Android is still a little rough around the edges, and there are plenty of little things that it gets very, very wrong. Here’s the one that has been driving us absolutely crazy:
Under normal circumstances, you cannot take a screenshot on an Android phone.
Now, for people who don’t write about mobile apps, that might not be the biggest deal in the world. But note that it is important enough that Apple made it incredibly simple for anyone to do at any time. You just hold down two buttons, and you get a screenshot. You don’t even have to adjust any settings first.
On an Android phone, you have two options: root your phone (the equivalent of Jailbreaking an iPhone), or install the Android developer SDK on your computer and take your screenshots with the Android debugging tool.
Last night, I needed some screenshots for a story I was working on. I’ve been meaning to root my phone, but I haven’t gotten around to it, so I decided to take the easier route and install the SDK. Yes, that’s right: installing the tools that developers use to create Android apps is the easy way to take a screenshot.
Of course, it’s not even as simple as that. Before you can install the Android SDK, you need to install JDK, the Java Development Kit. And once you’ve done all that, you need to install a new, special USB driver before the debugging tool can detect your phone.
Android is now bigger than the iPhone, and is rapidly gaining in market share. It can’t afford to be an OS that only works for nerds who are willing to install development tools to perform simple tasks.
Taking a screenshot shouldn’t be rocket science, Google. Fix this.