Monday, 26 August 2013

Android UI Tips & Tricks: Developer Options (now hidden by default)

So it turns out that lately, Google is making the Developer Options harder to see (and thereby enable) by default:
On Android 4.2 and higher, the Developer options screen is hidden by default
In a way, I guess this is a good thing as the average user doesn't need this option. However for others of who developer on Android it came somewhat as a 'surprise' to say the least.

Here is the new 'official' response:

To access these settings, open the Developer options in the system Settings. On Android 4.2 and higher, the Developer options screen is hidden by default. To make it available, go to Settings > About phone and tap Build number seven times. Return to the previous screen to find Developer options.

It's fairly easy to do and once it's done it doesn't seem to revert itself unless you factory wipe the device. 

So for a 'run' down of some of things I do to a "brand-new" testing device right out-of-the-box, I usually (not necessarily in any 'particular' order):
  1. Turn on Developer Options (see above)
  2. Disable Sleep when plugged into USB
  3. Turn on Tap Tracking (great for solving those IxD problems)
  4. Go Security Settings and Allow Install Unknown 3rd Party Software (allows me to install builds form the build server prior to posting to Google Play Store)
  5. Enable USB debugging (for those pesky bugs where I need to real-time step through the code or at least the WebCat logs)
  6. Install any specific driver. (ie both Samsung and HTC both need special drivers to be able to debug attach to ADB/Eclipse, otherwise all you get is USB/MTP mounted mass storage device and it won't show up in the connected device list...)
You *only* need to enable Developer Options for 4.2+ Android devices. Previously it was displayed by default. 

Hope that helps...

Wayne Pau.

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