Category Archives: Mobile

Android Screenshots and Screen Capture

In addition to Android Screencast (which I just demonstrated with my broken HTC Evo), I’ve had good success with another Java desktop application called Android Screenshot and Screen Capture. Both products are very similar, and have similar issues such as the slow refresh rate. But, Android Screenshot and Screen Capture has a higher resolution, and looks much better when the desktop window is expanded – like you might do in an online meeting.

Here’s a side-by-side comparison:

Android Screencast Comparison

Android Screenshot and Screen Capture (left) has a higher resolution than Android Screencast (right)

And here’s a screenshot of the software in an online meeting:

Android Screencast in Online Meeting

Android Screenshot and Screen Capture works well in online meetings for Android software demonstrations

Android Screencast

I’ve been using Android Screencast as a solution for sharing my phone’s screen in online meetings. The refresh rate is a bit slow, but the quality is decent and it works well on both PCs and Macs.

My HTC Evo Android phone recently met its demise when I dropped it. Today I found using Android Screencast was a handy way to get some data off the phone even though most of the screen isn’t working:

Android Screencast Example

Android screencast software is helpful when you’ve dropped your Android phone and broken the screen (but the phone still works)

Understanding Mobile Visitors

Recently I started volunteering as webmaster for the Stanford girls water polo club: upgrading WordPress, improving the design templates, and adding more features to make the site more useful to both parents and players.

I added Google Analytics at the start of the year to get a better sense of page views and traffic sources. Looking at the mobile stats today, I was surprised to see just how dominant the iOS (iPhone/iPad/iPod) was. In the last 2 months, there were about 7500 visits, of which mobile comprised about 1500 (20%). Within the visitors counted as mobile, the Apple devices accounted for almost 90%, with Android taking less than 10%:

Mobile Visitor Stats

Mobile Visitor Stats for Stanfordwaterpolo.com – 90% iPhone/iPad/iPod

I think a safe conclusion is that Apple mobile products are very popular among this population – not too much of a surprise. I’m going to work on making the site more mobile-friendly, so this type of data will certainly help pinpoint which devices are worth testing.

Masters Golf Mobile Website

If you want to keep up with the 2012 Masters golf tournament from your mobile phone, look no further than masters.com. They’ve done a nice job of mobile detection, giving a focused view of the leaderboard and other key content:

Masters Mobile Website

Masters Mobile Website on iPhone

By comparison if you visit the Masters site from a desktop browser, you get a “full” desktop experience, including a video that runs as soon as you visit the site.

On the mobile site I noticed the highlight videos worked correctly on my Android phone, but not on the iPhone for some reason.

Mobile Wi-Fi Testing with Mac OS X

Continuing my work with mobile website testing, here are the steps to create a local Wi-Fi network from a Mac laptop. Just like we showed Windows 7 Wi-Fi sharing, this allows mobile phones and tablets to connect through the laptop for either a proxy configuration (like Charles), or passive monitoring (like tcpdump or Wireshark).

The test setup I’m using has the laptop connected through a wired network cable, and using the laptop’s Wi-Fi as a local access point or hotspot:

Mac Wireless Test Setup

Mac Wireless Test Setup

Not surprisingly, doing this on a Mac is easier than Windows 7. Here are the steps to create a shared Wi-Fi connection:

  1. Connect the laptop to a wired Ethernet connection. Go to System Preferences ⇒ Network ⇒ Wi-Fi; make sure Wi-Fi is on, and disconnect from any wireless networks. Confirm that the internet connection is working in this wired configuration.
  2. Go to the Sharing settings (click Show All ⇒ Sharing.
  3. Click to highlight Internet Sharing on the left (but don’t click the check box yet).
  4. Ensure “Share your connection from” is set to Ethernet, and “to computers using” is set to Wi-Fi.
  5. Click Wi-Fi options, give it a network name, enable encryption and enter a password (I usually use WEP here but you could pick one of the more robust options)
  6. Click the check mark for Internet Sharing, and choose Start at the confirmation dialog.
  7. Your Wi-Fi symbol in the Apple menu bar should now have a gray background with a white arrow pointing up.
  8. Now you should be able to connect to your local network using a mobile phone or tablet, using the network name you used above.

When you are done testing, make sure to turn off the shared Wi-Fi network by unchecking Internet Sharing.