Android device automation with ADB


Today’s post is something that could be a time saver or a reference for those are are vaguely familiar with Android automation. I’m posting because its something I keep coming across and something I hate having to lookup. Let’s call it…

“How to automate your Android device”

The “adb shell input” command can be used to automate any attached Android device by sending simple commands and input over USB. The syntax is:

input [<source>] <command> [<arg>…]

The sources are:
trackball
joystick
touchnavigation
mouse
keyboard
gamepad
touchpad
dpad
stylus
touchscreen

The commands and default sources are:
text <string> (Default: touchscreen) [delay]
keyevent [–longpress] <key code number or name> … (Default: keyboard)
tap <x> <y> (Default: touchscreen)
swipe <x1> <y1> <x2> <y2> [duration(ms)] (Default: touchscreen)
press (Default: trackball)
roll <dx> <dy> (Default: trackball)

You can send key codes as input events using “adb shell input key event <keycode>” using the following list of key codes:

0 -->  "KEYCODE_UNKNOWN" 
1 -->  "KEYCODE_MENU" 
2 -->  "KEYCODE_SOFT_RIGHT" 
3 -->  "KEYCODE_HOME" 
4 -->  "KEYCODE_BACK" 
5 -->  "KEYCODE_CALL" 
6 -->  "KEYCODE_ENDCALL" 
7 -->  "KEYCODE_0" 
8 -->  "KEYCODE_1" 
9 -->  "KEYCODE_2" 
10 -->  "KEYCODE_3" 
11 -->  "KEYCODE_4" 
12 -->  "KEYCODE_5" 
13 -->  "KEYCODE_6" 
14 -->  "KEYCODE_7" 
15 -->  "KEYCODE_8" 
16 -->  "KEYCODE_9" 
17 -->  "KEYCODE_STAR" 
18 -->  "KEYCODE_POUND" 
19 -->  "KEYCODE_DPAD_UP" 
20 -->  "KEYCODE_DPAD_DOWN" 
21 -->  "KEYCODE_DPAD_LEFT" 
22 -->  "KEYCODE_DPAD_RIGHT" 
23 -->  "KEYCODE_DPAD_CENTER" 
24 -->  "KEYCODE_VOLUME_UP" 
25 -->  "KEYCODE_VOLUME_DOWN" 
26 -->  "KEYCODE_POWER" 
27 -->  "KEYCODE_CAMERA" 
28 -->  "KEYCODE_CLEAR" 
29 -->  "KEYCODE_A" 
30 -->  "KEYCODE_B" 
31 -->  "KEYCODE_C" 
32 -->  "KEYCODE_D" 
33 -->  "KEYCODE_E" 
34 -->  "KEYCODE_F" 
35 -->  "KEYCODE_G" 
36 -->  "KEYCODE_H" 
37 -->  "KEYCODE_I" 
38 -->  "KEYCODE_J" 
39 -->  "KEYCODE_K" 
40 -->  "KEYCODE_L" 
41 -->  "KEYCODE_M" 
42 -->  "KEYCODE_N" 
43 -->  "KEYCODE_O" 
44 -->  "KEYCODE_P" 
45 -->  "KEYCODE_Q" 
46 -->  "KEYCODE_R" 
47 -->  "KEYCODE_S" 
48 -->  "KEYCODE_T" 
49 -->  "KEYCODE_U" 
50 -->  "KEYCODE_V" 
51 -->  "KEYCODE_W" 
52 -->  "KEYCODE_X" 
53 -->  "KEYCODE_Y" 
54 -->  "KEYCODE_Z" 
55 -->  "KEYCODE_COMMA" 
56 -->  "KEYCODE_PERIOD" 
57 -->  "KEYCODE_ALT_LEFT" 
58 -->  "KEYCODE_ALT_RIGHT" 
59 -->  "KEYCODE_SHIFT_LEFT" 
60 -->  "KEYCODE_SHIFT_RIGHT" 
61 -->  "KEYCODE_TAB" 
62 -->  "KEYCODE_SPACE" 
63 -->  "KEYCODE_SYM" 
64 -->  "KEYCODE_EXPLORER" 
65 -->  "KEYCODE_ENVELOPE" 
66 -->  "KEYCODE_ENTER" 
67 -->  "KEYCODE_DEL" 
68 -->  "KEYCODE_GRAVE" 
69 -->  "KEYCODE_MINUS" 
70 -->  "KEYCODE_EQUALS" 
71 -->  "KEYCODE_LEFT_BRACKET" 
72 -->  "KEYCODE_RIGHT_BRACKET" 
73 -->  "KEYCODE_BACKSLASH" 
74 -->  "KEYCODE_SEMICOLON" 
75 -->  "KEYCODE_APOSTROPHE" 
76 -->  "KEYCODE_SLASH" 
77 -->  "KEYCODE_AT" 
78 -->  "KEYCODE_NUM" 
79 -->  "KEYCODE_HEADSETHOOK" 
80 -->  "KEYCODE_FOCUS" 
81 -->  "KEYCODE_PLUS" 
82 -->  "KEYCODE_MENU" 
83 -->  "KEYCODE_NOTIFICATION" 
84 -->  "KEYCODE_SEARCH" 
85 -->  "TAG_LAST_KEYCODE"

Here are some common use cases.

Send an upward swipe gesture to the screen:
adb shell input swipe 200 900 200 300

Simulate pressing the back key
adb shell input keyevent 4

And for something more involved, log into Skype on an Android Motorola G smartphone using your Microsoft credentials


#tap the Microsoft log in button
adb shell input tap 80 622
#tap username
adb shell input tap 200 622
adb shell input text cliftontest1@live-int.com
#swipe to dismiss keypad
adb shell input tap 200 472
#tap password
adb shell input tap 200 900
adb shell input text password
#send enter key
adb shell input keyevent 66

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