How to enable the Android power button bug report

Developing for a mobile platform, whether it’s a website or an app, requires accessing a device’s log. The log offers information about the web and API calls that are being sent and received, and it also offers information about the device and how it is interacting with an app or website.

For Android, a device log is normally obtained by connecting the device to a desktop system. The process isn’t complicated but it ties you to a desktop system which is inconvenient.

Device log on Android phones

A device log doesn’t necessarily have to be generated from a desktop system. An Android phone is able to generate a complete device log all on its own.

Starting from Android 10, and onwards, there is a built-in option to generate a bug report which includes a complete device log. This option has to be enabled before it can be used.

1. Enable developer options

The Android power button bug report option is enabled from Developer options which have to be enabled themselves.

  1. Open the Settings app on your Android device.
  2. Go to System.
  3. Look for the build number here. Its location may differ based on your device.
  4. Tap the build number seven times. You will see a notification telling you that Developer options have been enabled.

2. Enable USB debugging

Once you’ve enabled Developer Options, you must now enable USB debugging. 

  1. Open the Settings app on your Android device.
  2. Go to System>Developer options. Developer options may be under a different setting depending on your device.
  3. Look for the USB Debugging switch and turn it on.

3. Enable Power button bug report

Once you’ve enabled USB debugging, you can enable the power button bug report option.

  1. Open the Settings app on your Android device.
  2. Go to System>Developer options.
  3. Turn on the ‘Bug report shortcut’ switch.

4. Capture bug report

Now that the bug report shortcu has been enabled, you can use it to capture a bug report.

  1. Open the app or website that you want to generate a bug report for.
  2. Press and hold the power button on your Android device.
  3. The power button menu will show Bug Report button. Tap it.
  4. You will see a ‘Bug report is being generated’ notification.
  5. Use the app/navigate the website until you encounter a bug.
  6. Open the Notifications dropdown, and check if the progress bar under the bug report notification is complete.
  7. Once the progress bar is complete, tap it, and select how you want to share the bug report.

5. Access bug report on device

If you want to access a bug report on your device, you can do so from the Settings app.

  1. Open the Settings app on your Android device.
  2. Go to Storage>Files.
  3. Tap the hamburger icon at the top left.
  4. From the navigation drawer, select Bug Reports.
  5. Go through the various bug reports, and tap the one you want to view.

6. Customize bug report

An Android device can generate two types of bug reports; an interactive bug report which is a more concise report, and a Full report which includes everything. You can choose between the two which type you want to generate.

  1. Open the Settings app on your Android device.
  2. Go to Developer Options.
  3. Tap Bug Report.
  4. From the pop-up, select the type of bug report you want to generate.
  5. The setting will apply to all future bug reports that you capture.

What’s in a bug report?

A bug report generated on an Android device may simply be a text file, or it may be zipped folder that contains multiple files.

Normally, a bug report will contain;

  • A bug report file.
  • A dump log file.
  • A folder with logs of which sensors on the device were used, and other hardware related logs.
  • A folder called FS which contains information about the file system.

Android bug report vs Device log

The Android bug report will contain the same information you obtain when you generate a device log via ADB tools. The only difference is, with ADB tools, you have to issue a command for the type of information you want to capture. The bug report generated on Android automatically captures all this information.

Bug reports can be exceptionally small in size e.g. single digit MB files, or they can be much larger. It depends on how much information was captured. 

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How to get Android device log on Windows 10

Mobile devices and the apps that run on them run into trouble. If you develop apps for a mobile platform, you probably already know how to get the device log for Android phones and view what’s causing a crash or bug. If you’re an end-user though, and you need to get an Android device’s log, you will find that the process is complicated to follow with lots tools that need to be installed. Here’s a much simpler, and just as effective method you can use to get an Android device log.

get Android device log

Get Android device log

In order to get the Android device log you need;

  • A Windows 10 PC that you have admin access on.
  • A data cable that you can use to connect your phone to the PC.
  • The Android device on hand.

Follow each of the steps below in sequence and you will have your Android device log within a matter of minutes. This will work regardless which version of Android is running on your phone, or which phone you have.

1. Enable Developer options

Follow these steps on your Android device.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Go to About Phone.
  3. Look for Build number.
  4. Tap Build number seven times and Developer options will be enabled.

2. Turn on USB debugging

Follow these steps on your Android device.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Go to System.
  3. Expand Advanced.
  4. Tap Developer Options.
  5. Scroll down to the Debugging section.
  6. Turn on USB Debugging.

3. Download ADB tools for Windows 10

Perform these steps on your Windows 10 system.

  1. Download the ADB and Fastboot tools for Windows 10 from this link.
  2. Extract the zipped folder.
  3. Copy the complete path to the Platform-tools folder to your clipboard.

4. Access Android device on Windows 10 with ADB tools

You will need to interact with both your Windows 10 system and Android device in this step.

  1. Open Command Prompt with admin rights.
  2. Use the cd command to move to the Platform-tools folder.
cd path-to-Platform-tools-folder

Example

cd C:\Users\fatiw\Desktop\platform-tools_r30.0.4-windows\platform-tools
  1. Connect your Android device to your Windows 10 PC with the data cable.
  2. Unlock the device and make sure the screen is awake.
  3. On Windows 10, run the following command in the Command Prompt window that is already open.
adb.exe kill-server

If you see the “cannot connect to daemon at tcp:5037: cannot connect to 127.0.0.1:5037: No connection could be made because the target machine actively refused it. (10061)” error, don’t worry and proceed to the next step.

  1. Run the following command in the Command Prompt window.
adb.exe devices
  1. Look at your Android device. You will see a prompt asking for permission to Allow USB debugging. Tap Allow.

  1. Run this command and the device ID should be accompanied by ‘device’. Note the device ID down.
adb.exe devices

5. Start logging device events

  1. You’re now ready to start creating a log. Run the following command in the Command Prompt window. Replace the [device id] with the ID obtained in the previous step.
adb.exe logcat -v threadtime [device id] > C:\android-debug.log

Example

adb.exe logcat -v threadtime PT99621AA1A40100564 > C:\android-debug.log
  1. Interact with your Android device and reproduce the bug or crash or whatever activity it is you want to log.
  2. Once you’re done, return to the Command Prompt window, and tap Ctrl+C to end the log.
  3. The log can be accessed from the root of the C drive. The file will be called android-debug.log.

Conclusion

An Android device is fairly easy to debug regardless if you’re using a Windows 10 system or if you’re using Linux or a Mac. Android does not impose a lot of restrictions when it comes to which platform you can develop for it on. If you’re wondering whether or not you need Android Studio, special USB drivers, or an SDk installed to get the log, you don’t as is evident from the steps above. Make sure you’re able to access your Android phone’s storage from File Explorer and everything will go smoothly.

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How to scan a QR code on Android

QR codes are the easiest way to share information in the real world; users can be directed to a website, given the password to a WiFi network, or shown helpful information when they scan a QR code.

To use a QR code to share information, users must be able to scan. On iOS, the stock Camera app can scan QR codes but the same does not hold true for Android phones. Here’s how you can scan a QR code on Android.

Scan QR code on Android

On Android 9.0+, you can scan a QR code with the Google Lens feature that’s built into the Google Assitant app. The Google Assistant app is a stock app and will be available on your Android phone. For phones running older versions of Android or versions that do not have the Google Assistant app, users will have to download a third-party app from the Google Play Store.

scan QR code android

Android 9.0+

  1. Activate the Google Assistant app either by pressing the dedicated key, holding down the home button, or opening the app from the app drawer.
  2. Tap the lens button. Grant the app access to your camera if it asks.
  3. Point your camera at the QR code and take a photo.
  4. Google Assistant will display the information it has found. Tap the information that you want to use e.g., a URL address that will open in your default browser.

Older Android versions

If your device is running Android 8.0 or older, you can download a free QR code scanning app from the Google Play Store though it will have ads.

  1. Download QR & Barcode Scanner from the Google Play Store.
  2. Open the app and grant it permission to access your camera and photos.
  3. Point the app/camera at the QR code you want to scan.
  4. The app will scan the code and display the information it has found.

QR & Barcode Scanner has ads but they are not very intrusive.

Conclusion

QR codes can be found in all sorts of places and they’re a great way to provide quick information. Scanning QR codes is basic much like making a phone call or being able to send a text message. For users with newer Android versions, this basic tool is provided out of the box but it’s obvious it took Google a few years to realize it should add a stock option for scanning codes. It may have come after Apple added one to its camera app on iOS.

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How to remap the Google Search key on an Android phone

Google doesn’t control what hardware Android OS runs on. There are some general requirements that must be met for Android to be installed but the final hardware configuration you get cannot be dictated by Google. The company plays no part in the design of a device which is why you’ll find a Bixby button on Samsung devices and a dedicated Google Search key on others.

You can remap the Bixby key on a Samsung phone. If your phone has a Google Search key, you can remap it to anything else; an app or even a system function.

Remap Google Search key on Android

This article was written for Android 10 devices and the settings mentioned are available on that particular version of the OS. Newer or older versions may have a different option. The options may also differ based on the device that you own.

Verify Google Search key

You need first make sure that the extra key on your Android device is indeed a Google Search key.

  1. On your Android phone, press the physical key you think is the Google Search key.
  2. Wait for Google Search to activate. If it does, then the key in question is indeed the Google Search key.

Disable Google Search key

Before you can remap the Google Search key, you need to disable its stock functionality.

  1. Open the Settings app on your Android phone.
  2. Go to System>Gestures.
  3. Tap the Google Assistant option.
  4. Turn the switch for Google Assistant Off.

Remap Google Search key

In order to remap the Google Search key, you need to install an app.

  1. Install Button Mapper from the Play Store.
  2. Open the app, and grant it the permissions it needs.
  3. On the app’s home screen, check if the Google Search or Google Assistant key is listed. If it is, tap it and move to step 7.
  4. If the Google Search key is not listed, tap Add Buttons.
  5. Tap the floating plus button.
  6. Press the Google Search key and it will be detected. Tap Add.
  7. Turn on the ‘Customize’ button.
  8. Tap the ‘Single tap’ option.
  9. Select a new function from the ones listed and it will be applied.

Conclusion

Button Mapper is strictly for hardware keys. If you’re trying to remap softkeys e.g. the back or multitasking softkeys that you see on the bottom navigation bar on some phones, this app will not be able to help you. There are apps available for remapping softkeys and a quick search in the Play Store will lead you right to them.

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How to view saved WiFi passwords android

The Android OS has improved considerably over the last ten years. The UI alone is cleaner and far more intuitive to use. It’s also more stable and in many aspects, ahead of the curve in terms of features. Android does still have a fragmentation problem and the Play Store is still home to apps that are shady. Play Protect and improved permission management have helped users stay safe.

Throughout these iterations, features both useful and useless, have been added, removed, and added back to the OS. Older versions of Android allowed users to view the password for a saved WiFi network. This feature was exceptionally useful and it was removed in Android 8. It’s back in Android 10.

View WiFi password on Android

On Android 8 & 9, you will have to root your phone in order to view saved WiFi passwords. There is no way around this. On a device running Android 10, you can view the WiFi password from the settings app.

  1. Open the Settings app on your Android phone/tablet.
  2. Go to Network & Internet.
  3. Tap the WiFi network that you’re connected to (do not tap the switch next to a network).
  4. Tap the cogwheel button next to the connection.
  5. Tap Share.
  6. You will see a QR code on the Share WiFi screen. At the bottom of this code, you can view the WiFi password.
  7. You cannot copy the password to the clipboard but the QR code can be scanned by any device and you can manually copy/paste the password.

Limitations

This feature works on all devices that are running Android 10 however, you can only view the password for a WiFi network if you’re currently connected to it. For networks that you’ve connected to in the past, or in different locations, the network simply won’t show up unless it is in range. If the network is not in range and you cannot connect to it, the password cannot be looked up.

Conclusion

The ability to view a saved WiFi password from a connected device is exceptionally useful. Andriod removed it for security reasons which, we assume, have been addressed. This feature still doesn’t exist on iOS though iOS has made improvements to sharing WiFi networks. The feature remains locked within the Apple ecosystem. The QR code that you get on an Android 10 device will work with any device that is able to scan it, including an iPhone and Android phones that are running older versions of Android.

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