How to: Take a screenshot of Glass display using ADB

We already have a guide on how to record your Glass display using ADB but what if you want to only take a picture on your display? This guide will allow you to take a screenshot of the Glass display. You might want to use it for your own non-Glass made vignettes or in our case use it to help readers understand tutorials better.

To complete any part of this tutorial you will need to have ADB installed prior to taking screenshots. You can follow our previous ADB tutorial for both Mac and Windows which teaches you how to install ADB and set your PATH. After you complete that come back to this tutorial to learn how to take screenshots of your Glass display.

How to install ADB on Mac

How to install ADB on Windows

How to take a screenshot of your Glass display

After you successfully install ADB itself on your computer (and added it to your PATH), you are almost ready to start taking screenshots of your Glass display.

  1. Put on Google Glass and swipe all the way to the left and click on the Settings bundle. Next, navigate to the right and click on the Device Info card. Swipe to right and you will want to tap the “Turn on debug” card, giving our computer access to Glass once plugged in.
  2. Next, plug Glass into your Mac/Windows computer using the Micro-USB cable provided by Google. I highly recommend using the cable provided by Google because Explorers using third-party cables have run into problems in some cases where their computer won’t recognize Glass.
  3. For Mac, open Terminal. You can find this basic command prompt app in “Utilities” in your Application folder, or by typing “Terminal” in spotlight. For Windows open CMD. You can open this by clicking the start button, and in the “search programs and files” box, simply type in “CMD”.

I will be using a Mac; however, it is the same process on a Windows machine. Once you have a command prompt window open, type the following and press Enter:

adb devices

You should see something similar to the screenshot below.

ADB Devices

At this point put the card you want to have a screenshot of on Glass. The screen must be active when you press enter on the following command. You can change GlassScreenshot to whatever name you please but that is what we will be using today. To take the screenshot type the following and press Enter:

adb shell /system/bin/screencap -p /sdcard/GlassScreenshot.png

The command above took the screenshot of your Glass display however we still need to retrieve said screenshot. That is why we have to type the following command and press Enter:

adb pull /sdcard/GlassScreenshot.png GlassScreenshot.png

You should see something similar to the screenshot below.

ADB Complete

You can now find your screenshot in the Home folder of your computer.

That’s it! You just took a screenshot using ADB for Mac or Windows. Leave your suggestions for other tutorials in the comments below!

Here are some examples of the screenshots you can make using this tutorial.