We’ve talked about the importance of screenshots time and again, and not just because a picture is worth a thousand words. Screenshots are a great way of getting your point across, especially if you’re creating software tutorials or how-to guides for something, where they help you articulate the required steps in a highly effective fashion. We also talked about how bloggers find them of utmost importance. However, there can be times when you just need screenshots for taking note of something that you want to recall later, or for helping out a friend or family member in need of assistance. During such times, being able to write over the screenshot is a big help, but unfortunately, that’s not always the easiest thing to do. On an iPhone, for instance, you can take a screenshot easily but not really edit it in real time. This is where the Cydia tweak, ScreenPainter, comes in. It’s a small free tweak that allows you to draw and write over screenshots before they are saved to Camera Roll.
The tweak, which is being distributed through the BigBoss repo in Cydia, is available for free for jailbroken iPhones, iPod touches and iPads, and is compatible with the 64-bit architecture of newer devices. Once installed on your device, ScreenPainter is enabled by default and adds a Settings app panel of its own, where you can change some of the basic aesthetics of the app (mainly the screenshot flash and the brush color). The tweak’s working is really simple – you take a screenshot, and instead of being saved to Camera Roll directly, you can draw on the image to identify and highlight any particular thing that you want to draw attention to. To get more options, you need to shake your device which will present an on-screen pane allowing you to add text boxes, erase drawing, change brush color, clear everything etc. Once you’re done making changes, shake the device again, and now you can save the screenshot to Camera Roll, including both the edited and unedited versions.
While ScreenPainter is quite a useful tweak, there are certain areas that can be improved. For instance, the usage of device shake isn’t the most effective one, making it a hit and miss at times to get the panel to activate. And since there’s no other way to save the screenshot, you can end up missing everything. Also, there’s an annoying nag for donation time to time, which doesn’t speak highly professional.
Give ScreenPainter a try – since it’s free, there’s nothing to lose anyway.