Screenshots, Shots, Shots, Shots, Shots…

M.G Siegler:

Having now read over a bunch of the early walk-throughs of the first beta of iOS 11, I think there is one feature — amongst the many — that rises above the others for me: enhanced screenshots.

To be clear, the screenshots themselves aren’t enhanced. But the ease with which you can do useful things with such an image after you take one in iOS 11 is a massive, massive upgrade. And I suspect it may ignite the usage of mobile screenshots even further.
Up until now, the screenshot has almost been a hidden functionality. Yes, anyone can do it, but it’s not exactly like Apple gives you a tutorial when you first get an iPhone. And it’s not exactly like the power-plus-home button combo is natural. But because this has been the standard with the iPhone from the beginning (even with the move of the power button to the side from the top), the knowledge has seemingly been passed down like an ancient ritual amongst a tribe. And now we see a lot of people taking screenshots of things within iOS and sharing them throughout the web.

For one prime example, just follow a few athletes on Twitter and see how they choose to share a statement to their followers… It’s seemingly almost always a picture of the iOS Notes app shared as a tweet payload. In other words, they’re sharing a screenshot.

With iOS 11, while the tactic to take a screenshot is seemingly the same (though you can now easily take a screen recording which you could not do before), the functionality after you take the shot is so much better.

Now, after the screenshot is taken, you immediately will see a thumbnail of the shot in the lower left portion of your screen. From here, you can tap to edit the shot and/or quickly share it. While such functionality was highlighted during the WWDC keynote for the iPad Pro, it works with an iPhone with iOS 11 too. And it looks perfect.

I don’t know about you, but I take screenshots left-and-right. And I do this both for archival purposes, but also to be able to share something quickly. The problem is that right now, “quickly” means taking the shot, quitting whatever you’re doing, opening the Photos app, opening the screenshot, editing it, and then finally sharing it. In bulk, over time, this is tedious. The new workflow is so much better.

Not only can you open the screenshot immediately now, but again, you can edit it right away. And not only can you do something like crop it, you can actually mark it up in a very simple way. This is not that easy to do right now, and requires several taps. And it’s far beyond what an average iPhone user would ever do.

I take a lot of screenshots so this can be a handy feature to have.