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I came across a related but simpler article: Full remote access to Android device

But before trying to evaluate all that is recommended there, wanted to see if there is really any existing solutions that meet these requirements, whether Android device is rooted or not:

  • remote access to device (preferably SSH/telnet and VNC)
  • provides terminal access to manage device, not just VNC or remote access device's UI
  • ability to query running apps to know if an app crashed or stopped running (best if this can be queried remotely or via terminal, not tapping through the UI)
  • ability to query if device is sending/receiving data over the network (another way to check of app crash or stop working), again w/o having to tap thru UI - via remote query or terminal
  • ability to start up an installed app if it's not currently running, with a remote query or terminal, not tapping thru UI
  • solution ideally runs like a daemon w/o having user start up app to allow remote access, user accepting prompts to allow access, and having app be in foreground or running but minimized in background

basically I'm looking for scriptable automation and remote access we've come to love on a PC platform but for Android, to manage Android test devices. Is this wishful thinking on my part, or such solution does exist?

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So basically, you want an SSH Server running on the device – and solve all the items with local resources:

  • remote access to device (preferably SSH/telnet and VNC): Directly provided, but for VNC you'd need a separate app (unless using a package like Servers Ultimate, which might be a bit overkill if you don't need the 32 other services)
  • provides terminal access to manage device: That's what an SSH server does, yes :)
  • ability to query running apps …: Requires knowledge of the corresponding command line tools, e.g. ps and dumpsys – but it's all there.
  • ability to query if device is sending/receiving data over the network: Again, requires knowledge of the corresponding command-line tools – and again, it should be all there.
  • ability to start up an installed app: requires knowledge of the app's intents and calling the "application manager" (am start …)
  • solution ideally runs like a daemon …: AFAIK those SSH server apps offer to be started automatically on boot. If your otherwise ideal candidate does not, there are apps to add it to auto-start.

There are a bunch of apps to remotely control your Android device, but most of them work via a GUI. But there's also PAW server including a "mighty scripting engine" to automate things. On the other hand, if you're going the proposed way via SSH, you could create your own shell scripts taking care for what you're after, and use e.g. Tasker to run them automatically (as Tasker can automate a lot of other stuff, too, you might "kill several birds with a single stone" that way; see e.g. my list of Tasker resources).

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