Android 4.2.2 ADB Device Offline Mystery Solved

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I lost the ability to debug code running on my device after upgrading the device to Android 4.2.2. And as mentioned in that post, the solution was to upgrade to the latest Android Platform Tools.

Well … after checking out the Android Debug Bridge (a.k.a. ADB) docs, it turns out that what I experienced is a documented behavior.

Starting with Android 4.2.2 the platform will not allow debugging unless the user is prompted with a dialog box showing an RSA key passed from the connected desktop. This is a new security feature that assures debugging cannot be initiated on the device without a specific acknowledgement from the user.

In order for ADB to successfully make the required exchange to the device you must have a version of ADB that ships with Android Platform Tools r16.0.1 or higher installed (as of this writing the current Android Platform Tools version is r16.0.2).

So it’s a good thing but a bit frustrating when first encountered.

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