How to take a Screenshot with the Moto 360 or any Android Wear Watch

How to take a Screenshot with the Moto 360 or any Android Wear Watch

By Rich W Woods

In writing my review of the Moto 360, I knew I would need to take some screenshots. Unfortunately, there is no way to do that with Android Wear. After doing a little Binging, I found some tutorials that say to connect it through USB. This would work great with a Samsung Gear Live or an LG G Watch, but the Moto 360 is wireless.

Luckily, it’s very easy to do it through Bluetooth. Well, about as easy as hammering a nail with your bare hand. But if you follow these instructions, you’ll do just fine.

Install the Android SDK

This is not as simple of a procedure as it sounds. Head over to the Android SDK web site and download Eclipse. Don’t use Android Studio. I’ve had problems with that one. Get the zip file and extract it to your root folder.

Install the Java Runtime Environment

Also, not as simple as it seems. Go to the Java web site, and click Download Java. Run the file it downloads and in the window that opens, check Change Destination Folder. When it prompts you to choose a folder, go to the folder you installed Eclipse in and inside the Eclipse folder, make a new folder called “jre” and install Java there.

Now, you’re all set up from the PC side. Now, we have to set up your devices.

Set up your Android phone

We are doing this through Bluetooth, so your phone will have to be connected through USB and the Moto 360 will be connected through the phone on Bluetooth.

Go to Settings -> About Phone and locate your Build Number. Tap it seven times. This will make you a developer and add Developer Options to your Settings.

Go back to Settings -> Developer Options and enable Android Debugging.

This allows the Android phone to interact with the PC through USB.

Set up the Moto 360

Moto 360 Settings
Moto 360 Settings

Again, this works with the Moto 360 or any other Android Wear watch. It might even work with Google Glass, but I haven’t tested that.

Repeat the same thing you did to enable your phone but on the Moto 360. Go to Settings -> About and tap the Build

Android Wear Settings
Android Wear Settings

Number seven times. Go to Developer Options and enable debugging and Bluetooth Debugging.

Next, open the Android Wear app on your phone. Check the box that says Enable Bluetooth Debugging.

Download a USB Driver

This is probably the hardest part. If you are using a Nexus device, it is probably installed already or you can download it from the SDK Manager which is in the root folder of Eclipse.

First, go to the folder where you installed Eclipse and open the SDK folder. While holding the Shift key, right-click Platform-Tools. Click Open New Command Line Window. Type “adb devices”. If your phone shows up, you’re fine. If not, you need to find a driver.

If you are using an HTC phone, that’s easy as well. Simply plug your phone into your PC and it will automatically install the HTC Sync Manager which comes with a USB driver.

Google has a list of OEMs and their drivers. I was using a OnePlus One and running Windows 8.1 and couldn’t get one to work; however, Samsung’s driver works with the OnePlus One.

If all else fails, download the Koush Universal ADB Driver.

Open the command windows again and type “adb devices” again. If you’re phone shows up you’re good to go.

Connect the PC to the Moto 360

This is where it gets pretty easy. Go back to the Platform-Tools folder, open the command window and type the following two commands.

adb forward tcp:4444 localabstract:/adb-hub

adb connect localhost:4444

The first command maps a route from your PC to your phone to the device. The second command connect it. Type “adb devices” again and now you should see your phone and the Moto 360 which will show up as localhost:4444.

Command Interface

Take your screenshots

To take your screenshots, type the following command:

adb -s localhost:4444 shell screencap -p /sdcard/DCIM/screenshot1.png

This command will take the screenshot. You may need to edit the folder to another that exists on your phone, but try the path listed above first. It should work.

When you’re all done, type the following command:

adb -s localhost:4444 pull -p /sdcard/DCIM/

This command will import the screenshots you made onto your computer. If you only want to import one of the screenshots, you can add a file name to the end of the path. You will find your screenshots in the Platform-Tools folder.

Note that it is important to use localhost:4444 or it will tell you that there are two devices connected.

Command Interface 2

You can use this for other things

You can use adb for other things like flashing a custom ROM on your phone. If you own a second generation Nexus 7 or a Nexus 5, you can use it to install Android L.

About the author
Rich Woods

Being a computer programmer wasn't enough to fulfill his love of technology. In 2013, Rich founded For the Love of Tech and has been writing about his love of tech ever since.

  • wegweg

    This is not working for me. I get all the way, but when taking the print screen nothing is saved. No errors or anything, the screenshot just isnt saved.

    • The key is the “Pull” statement. The screencap statement saves it to a spot on your device and pull brings it over to the platform-tools folder.