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EGMaps – Connect Your Test Android To Your Computer

Google’s Android SDK in Eclipse comes with a great Android emulator which lets you use an emulator on your computer, instead of a physical device, to test your app.  It works great, unless you need Google Play (which you do) or GPS (which you do) or compass (which you do).  Fortunately, you don’t have to use the emulator.  You can just plug your Android straight into your computer and use that for testing, instead.

It seems so simple, right?  You just plug your phone into your computer and they just talk to each other, right?  Well, not quite.  Mostly due to security issues, you plug your phone into your computer and your computer can see a handful of files on your phone.  You actually do need it to communicate much better than that.  Fortunately, it’s usually not all that hard to make them talk to each other.

Google has written some pretty good instructions for connecting your Android device to your computer for testing your app.  You can access it http://developer.android.com/tools/device.html .

The thing that most people screw up is the USB configuration.  If you’re using Windows, you need to use the right vendor driver for your device.  If you’re using Linux, you have to have the right vendor ID (listed below as of 5/11/2014, although they do change).  Remember that whenever you get a new Android and want to test with it, you’ll need to change either the USB driver or the USB vendor ID. 

Now make sure your computer can see your Android.  In Eclipse, with your Android plugged into USB, click on DDMS in the far upper-right corner.  This brings up the DDMS view.  In the Devices window, you should now see your Android listed.  It should list the version of Android software it’s running, and should say On-line.  If not, go back to http://developer.android.com/tools/device.html and see if you missed anything.

You may also need to change the USB connection mode on your Android.  If Eclipse can’t see your Android, sweep down the notification bar and you should see a USB symbol and it will say something like, “Connected as a______________”. Media Device (MTP) seems to work well, but try others, as well, if that doesn’t work.

Once you’re connected, you’re ready to start testing.

Company USB Vendor ID
Acer 0502
ASUS 0b05
Dell 413c
Foxconn 0489
Fujitsu 04c5
Fujitsu Toshiba 04c5
Garmin-Asus 091e
Google 18d1
Haier 201E
Hisense 109b
HTC 0bb4
Huawei 12d1
Intel 8087
K-Touch 24e3
KT Tech 2116
Kyocera 0482
Lenovo 17ef
LG 1004
Motorola 22b8
MTK 0e8d
NEC 0409
Nook 2080
Nvidia 0955
OTGV 2257
Pantech 10a9
Pegatron 1d4d
Philips 0471
PMC-Sierra 04da
Qualcomm 05c6
SK Telesys 1f53
Samsung 04e8
Sharp 04dd
Sony 054c
Sony Ericsson 0fce
Teleepoch 2340
Toshiba 0930
ZTE 19d2

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