Android tool of the day: Droid Explorer

Aug 26, 2013 by DanM


Whether you're a programmer or a tester, the Droid Explorer tool will make your life easier when it comes to developing or testing applications for Android. The Droid Explorer tool is the kind of tool that has everything you need - it's like a bundle of applications gathered in a one big app.

I'm using Droid Explorer for testing purposes and I am very pleased with the help that Droid Explorer provides when it comes to capturing screenshots, recording the Android screen and recovering crash logs.

Where can you get it?

The Droid Explorer tool is an open source software and can be downloaded from:
http://de.codeplex.com

Requirements and installation

The Droid Explorer tool requires the following prerequisites to be installed on your computer:

* Windows XP or later
* .NET Framework 3.5 SP1
* Windows USB Drivers
* Android SDK (this can be installed during the Droid Explorer Setup Wizard)
* OEM Drivers
* Optionally: Rooted Android Device with busybox (I've listed this as optionally, because I've used Droid Explorer with 3 unrooted devices and it worked like a charm).

The Droid Explorer tool relies on the Android SDK, therefore this is a requirement when installing.

Also, the best part of installing Droid Explorer is the fact that the wizard allows the download and installation of Android SDK automatically, in case this is not availble on your computer. If you already have the Android SDK installer, then you must specify the path to the SDK. Once the installation of Droid Explorer is completed, you need to make sure that you have the proper USB driver cables.

You can get the Google USB driver from the following URL:
http://developer.android.com/sdk/win-usb.html

Or, you can download the OEM USB driver from the following address:
http://developer.android.com/tools/extras/oem-usb.html

How does it work?

In order to use Droid Explorer with your Android you will have to configure your Android to use debug mode, by following these steps:

1. On your Android device press the Menu button
2. Navigate to the Settings menu
3. Scroll down to the bottom of the Settings menu until you can see the Developer Options menu
(if this option is not visible, tap on "About phone", then tap 7 times on the "Build Number")
4. Once you have opened "Developer Options" tap on the On / Off control to enable / disable the "Developer Options"
5. After "Developer Options" is enabled, go to the "Debugging" category, and enable the "USB Debugging" option
6. Once the "USB Debugging" option is enabled, you can close the Settings menu

Now that your device is configured for debugging, you will have to connect it to the PC via the data cable and start Droid Explorer. Once Droid Explorer starts, the Select Device screen appears. Here your device should be listed and and you should select it by double clicking it. If your device is not listed, you can use the "I don't see my device" option.

Once Droid Explorer is started you can use it for:

* Install / Uninstall the applications
* Take screenshots
* Record videos of your device screen
* Install update files
* Backup and restore files
* Capture and save debug logs

If you have any questions about Droid Explorer, please feel free to ask away in the comment section :).


Tags: Programming  Testing 


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