Android mobile app development tools include a lot of features which are specifically used by experienced users or developers. These options let you enable USB debugging and report bug and provides a number of options to troubleshoot and modify your device. The developer options are found on all Android OS versions including Android 2.3 (Gingerbread), Android 3.0 (Honeycomb), Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich), Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean), Android 4.4 (KitKat) and the latest Android 5.0 (Lollipop). Although some of the features are newly added with the latest update of the OS.
Overview of Android developer options
Take bug report: Bug reports are sent in order to notify about the system crashes and app crashes. Tapping on it will enable you to send a bug report and collect all log files on your device account in order to fix and troubleshoot it. It will take some time to collect the data and on completion it will appear in your notification panel.
Desktop backup password: To backup data to your computer, you can use ADB which compels to use a password to store your backups and which cannot be reinstated without using that password.
Stay awake: Enabling the ‘stay awake’ in menu settings option will keep your phone screen awake constantly, even when it is plugged in to a charger. But permitting this will drain a lot of battery power so enable it only when it is necessary.
Enable Bluetooth HCI Snoop log: Certain times, a developer might need the Bluetooth HCI (Host Controller Interface) to obtain a log related to Bluetooth. Enabling this option will store them in device storage as bitsnoop_hci.log so that it can be retrieved anytime.
Process stats: View all the running processes in detail including the background running processes and browser site on your phone with this option.
USB debugging: The USB debugging option lets you communicate with your computer over the USB port through the ADB (Android Debug Bridge).
Revoke USB debugging authorizations: While using a pc for the first time to debug over USB, you’ll need to authorize it and set up a keypair.
Power menu bug reports: This developer options in android includes an option that lets you press and hold the power button and send a bug report.
Allow mock locations: This program overwrites the location information on your phone and manipulates it.
Select debug app: Allow you to select an application to debug instead of using long ADB commands or a debugger.
Verify Android app over USB: Allows Google to scan applications which are installed via ADB or any USB device. Prevents malicious contents and protects your device from infection.
Show touches: Displays a circular visual around the screen wherever you touch it. This tool was introduced in Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich).
Pointer location: This features sets an information bar at the top of your phone screen indicating about the exact coordinates of the current place where the screen was touched.
Show surface updates: Flashes the screen whenever there is an update in content. Not a preferable feature.
Show layout bounds- Marks every single screen element in a dialog to notify you where a touch will activate them.
Force RTL layout direction: Enable this option and each element on your screen will turn like a mirror image from Right to Left.
Window animation scale: Switch the speed of your window animations according to your choice.
Transition animation scale: Adjusts the speed of transition animation playback according to your choice.
Simulate secondary displays: Allow you to reproduce different screen sizes.
Force GPU rendering: Enabling this android developer option will force applications to use 2D rendering by using the GPU.
Show GPU view updates: A red screen will flash up while operating on the GPU.
Show hardware layer updates: A green screen will flash up with a layer rendering on your device screen using the GPU.
Debug GPU overdraw: Overdraw is to draw something on an already drawn object. This features highlights and displays every overdrawn object that occurs.
Force 4x MSAA: MSAA (Multi Sample Anti-aliasing) enables you to improve the image quality which makes the graphics look better but might lower down the system performance.
Strict mode enabled: At time the operation takes longer time to complete and therefore, runs in background. The strict mode option flashes the screen and notifies the user when any such operation is delaying the usual time.
Show CPU usage: Displays the current CPU usage on the top-right screen on the window.
Profile GPU rendering: This option displays either a graph or writes it to the log file about how the GPU is running.
Enable OpenGL traces: Tracks the OpenGL errors and moves them to the log file. Not recommended for general users.
Don’t keep activities: Force closes each and every application in process.
Background process limit: Puts a custom setting on how many processes should run in the background or limits it to a specific number.
Show all ANRs: Displays an App Not Responding (ANR) dialog when any app hangs or freezes or any other app obstructs them from running. It is a very useful feature for all Android users.
To enable Android developer options in Samsung Galaxy, follow the below process:
- Go to Settings > About Device.
- In About Device, scroll down till the end and you’ll find the Build number option.
- Press on the Build number option7 times and you’ll receive a notification that developer options are enabled.
To enable in HTC One,
- Go to Settings > About.
- Tap on Software Information > More.
- Find the Build number option inside More > tap on it 7 times.
- The development environment will be enabled.
To enable developer options in Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Nexus 7,
- Go to Settings > About.
- Tap on Build number 7 times > activate developer options Android.
To enable it in LG G,
- Go to Settings > About phone.
- Tap on Software Information > Build number.
- Tap 7 times on Build number > activate developer options.
Above methods will work in all android versions like gingerbread (2.3.x), honeycomb (3.x), Kitkat (4.2.x), Ice cream sandwich (4.4.x), Lollypop (5.x).