Capture a Screenshot on the iPhone

If you ever have a need to create a screenshot from an iPhone (not the simulator), or if you are unsure why you would ever want to do this, read on…

For the most part, capturing images of your application is as simple as running the simulator and pressing Shift-Command-4. However, when working with the simulator there are times when you cannot get to the screen contents you want to capture or otherwise are constrained by the simulator.

For instance, an application I was working on recently involved taking a picture with the camera. Once the photo was taken, the user was to provide some additional information about the photo. Because the next steps were non-trivial, we decided a help screen was in order. To create this screen, I wanted a screenshot of a photo taken by the application, which I would then markup using an image editing program to write notes as to what the user needed to do next.

Problem is, there are limitations of the camera when working with the simulator. The end result was, when running in the simulator the screen I needed to explain could not be shown with an actual photograph taken from the application (it would always be a black screen).

The work around that I came up with was to run the application on a real device, get to the screen I wanted to capture, create a screenshot, email myself the image, then edit as needed and incorporate into the application as a help screen.

The steps for capturing a screenshot on an iPhone are to navigate to the screen you want to capture, then:

Step #1 – Press and hold the Home control
Step #2 – Press the Sleep control

The captured image will be stored in the Camera Roll.

  1. Have you noticed the screen capture ability in Xcode’s Organizer? It’s faster and easier than the iPhone’s built-in screen capture. Just open Xcode with your device connected, Window->Organizer, click on your device, and then you’ll see the screenshot tab. Get the device to the point that you need a screenshot and click the capture button in Organizer. Then, just drag the screenshot from organizer onto your desktop (or where ever) and you’re good to go. Same result as your process, but you can skip the whole e-mail step.

  2. is there a way to disable this while running an app or viewing a page of an app?

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