For a long time I have been missing a tool that would measure pixels directly on the device screen; and check the size of button or text padding – Something what web designers and developers do every day. Unfortunately there was no such tool for iOS nor for Android, so I developed my oven app called Pixel Ruler.

Usability without compromises

The idea was to make measuring as straightforward as possible. To achieve this you need the rulers floating over running app. I wanted to avoid making screenshots and other detours. Luckily one can do this on Android now! It needs some programming afford, but it was worth it. The result are two rulers floating over any app and any system UI.

Facebook like docking

I was first! Yes, I had this functionality implemented earlier than Facebook released it! Do you need to hide the ruler for a moment? Just swipe it to the edge of your screen. It transforms intoa small square icon. Drag it to the screen center and ruler reappears! Drag it to the bottom of the screen and the ruler will be closed.

Units supported

As an Android developer you need to measure not only in pixels. The dimensions in Density-independent pixels (dp, dip) and Scale-independent pixels (sp, sip) are much more important. All those units are supported.

Support for zooming

The biggest disadvantage for drawing ruler over all apps is limited support for zooming. It’s impossible for my app to zoom another apps. There are security reasons for that. and even if I’m not bad guy I can’t do this.

Zooming is supported only via Magnification gestures with triple click gesture. Unfortunately its activation could cause significant lags in the whole system. With every tap the system is waiting a few milliseconds if other taps will follow to detect this (IMHO stupid) triple tap gesture.

Let’s try it!

If you are a mobile app or native app developer, give it a try and let me know in comments how it works for you!

Download Pixel Ruler for Android

Vladislav Skoumal