Android Design Preview tool mirrors PC screens for live previews

December 1, 2011
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Here's a fun hack that should be useful for Android developers and designers, and at least interesting for the rest of us. If you're designer who's working on high-quality mock ups for a new app, seeing how they look on your actual device is a bit of a hassle - you've got to save the files, copy them over to the device, try it out, then make changes and repeat. The Android Design Preview tool takes all those steps out by allowing your phone to see a one-to-one pixel representation of your computer screen.

In practice, it works kind of like a tiny secondary monitor. Connect your Android phone to your computer using ADB, then start the tool on your computer. Move the preview window to the editing app of your choice (make sure it's scaled at 100%) and you'll see the screen appear on your phone. It refreshes automatically, so you can preview multiple screens or elements, or just watch your phone while you edit. You don't need a corresponding app for Android - everything is handled over the ADB connection. Developer Roman Nurik has released the program as a free Java app, so it should play nice with Windows, Mac and Linux.

Check it out in action below:

So why is this better than a remote access tool, like VNC or SplashTop? Specifically, the pixel-perfect preview size makes it ideal for designers. There's not a lot of utility elsewhere, since it doesn't actually extend your computer screen, but designers with a little technical know-how should be able to preview their creations much faster - not to mention wow a few of their less savvy clients.

[via XDA]


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