GROPG: A Graphical On-Phone Debugger

Debugging mobile phone applications is hard, as current debugging techniques either require multiple computing devices or do not support graphical debugging. To address this problem we present GROPG, the first graphical on-phone debugger. We implement GROPG for Android and perform a preliminary evaluation on third-party applications. Our experiments suggest that GROPG can lower the overall debugging time of a comparable text-based on-phone debugger by up to 2/3.

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DroidDebugger (left) and GROPG (right) while debugging the My Tracks application on a Samsung Galaxy S3 phone. In both cases the programmer set a breakpoint at line 580 of the MapFragment class. After My Tracks stopped at the breakpoint, the programmer stepped to line 581, inspected in-scope memory values, and updated the local variable named bottom.