Review #1: Screenshot Ultimate (Android)

Tested on: Phone, Phablet

When I decided to create this blog to host my reviews, I also know that I would need to create many screenshots of whatever app I’m testing, so everyone who read my reviews could see all the features I’m talking about without having to install the app themselves. And for me, words are not enough to convince me to do something; I need to see the proofs.

I’m not having any problem with taking screenshots on my laptop (both OSes) or my phone, but I never got to find out how do I take a screenshot on my phablet. I used to have the same problem with my phone. I solved it for a while by installing a screenshot-taking app, but I quit using that when I found out on a tech forum that I could take a screenshot by pressing Back and Home button together.

Sadly, my phablet is a cheap one, with a weird-sounding brand I’ve never heard anyone mentioning, so it’s very hard to find support for it on the internet. Not even drivers. And before you asked me, I’ve tried every button combination available.

I finally ended finding a screenshot-taking app. I’m not having high hopes for this, since most of such apps needed my phablet to be rooted (which it doesn’t), or only usable for some devices/brands, or have reviews like ‘this app is a time-wasting crap! don’t download this!!’.

But I found this app, Screenshot Ultimate, which doesn’t mention anything about rooting or only works for some devices. I also noticed that it came with an image editor, but I don’t think much about it. All I want to do is to take screenshots of my phablet.

When I first opened it, it started a quick scan on which method should it use to take a screenshot. It only took several seconds, and then I’m ready to take a screenshot. The app itself looks like this:

2014_06_17_18.47.56.png

It’s obvious that you should press that large button up there, right? Pressing it would take a screenshot of my homescreen, and it looks like this:

2014_06_03_04.59.27 (2).png

Notice anything wrong? Yeah, the colors are little funny. Look at the battery and signal strength icon on the notification bar. Or the compass icon on the right of the screen. Don’t worry, we’ll fix this soon. For now, let’s focus to the fact that this app works.

Besides pressing that large button, there are other ways you could take screenshots with this app. You could choose how do you like it from the ‘Trigger’ menu.

2014_06_03_09.56.26.png

The options on the Trigger menu allow you to take screenshot by an overlay button, shaking your phone, sliding the notification bar and clicking the app’s icon, talking to your phone’s microphone (not just talking, actually. You could trigger it by pointing the microphone to any sound source, besides your mouth), connecting/disconnecting your phone to a power source, from a widget on your home screen, and some more. I mostly use the notification area button, but sometimes I use the overlay button when I need to take a screenshot for full-screen apps. It’s the fastest way too.

2014_06_19_20.33.02.png 2014_06_19_19.53.16.png

The Settings menu on all the triggers are basically the same, on which you could set what the app should do after taking a screenshot (edit it/share it/view it/ask for what to do/do nothing), and set a timer. There are several extra options for some triggers, such as sensitivity setting for the shake trigger.

2014_06_17_17.28.55.png 2014_06_17_17.29.07.png

Back again on the weird-colored homescreen issue. It seems like the developers were aware that this sort of thing could happen, and there are several things we could do to fix this. The first way is to use the image editor. Go back to the main screen and press ‘Screenshots’, and we will be presented with a gallery of all screenshots that we have taken using this app:

2014_06_03_09.58.45.png

Select that screenshot. A selection of options would appear, and select ‘Edit’:

2014_06_17_18.40.12.png

This is the image editor I’ve been telling you about. It has no buttons; only options on a floating dialogue, but you could do many things with it. The image editor doesn’t have many cosmetic features, besides of 9 effects it offered plus a mirror effect (who would use that? And what for?). It offers mostly adjustment features such as drawing tool, crop, rotate, and adding text. It also saves your original screenshot, so you could revert back to it if something goes wrong with the editing (there’s no Undo button).

To fix that miscoloured screenshot, scroll down and select ‘Switch colors’, and then ‘Switch blue and red’:

2014_06_03_05.00.20.png

The result is this:

2014_06_03_04.59.27edit.png

Now the screenshot has the right colors, and looks just like my homescreen. You could do this on every miscoloured screenshots you’ve taken, but wouldn’t that become an annoying, repetitive task? Maybe the app didn’t choose the right capture method.

As I’ve said before, when the app started for the first time, it would try every capturing method possible to take a screenshot on an Android phone, and it seems like it would stick on the first method it found to be succesful, although there are more than one working method. Or at least that’s what happened to my phablet.

Go to the main menu, then Settings, and select the ‘Auto’ button from the ‘Detect’ menu. It would do the capture method testing like what it had done before, but it would show you the available methods instead of sticking up with the first method it found and didn’t tell you about it:

2014_06_17_19.28.12.png 2014_06_12_15.42.23.png 2014_06_12_15.43.17.png

So apparently there are 32 possible method of screen capturing of an Android phone, 16 for rooted phones and the other half for unrooted (‘No Root’) phones. And there are two working methods for my phablet. The dialogue shows that the first method has the color swapped (blue and red), while the second doesn’t need any adjustments and will work just right.

For comparison, I have installed this app on my phone, and the same test showed me this:

2014_06_18_17.50.45.png

I’ve also tested this app on my phone, and it works just like how this app works on my phablet, so I guess that there’s no need for another review.

Also–when I tried this app on my phone, I finally found the first thing I don’t like about this app. You see that ‘nochkawtf’ on the top/bottom right corner of almost all screenshots on this post? I added it using the image editor (to be more specific, the ‘Add Text’ option). In this app, you could automatically apply every image adjustments to every screenshots you’re going to take, on the Settings > Adjustments menu:

2014_06_12_15.39.30.png 2014_06_12_15.39.44.png

For an unknown reason, every screenshots taken by my phone would always have this black bar along the right side of the screen::

SC20130831-140802.png

I was trying to automatically crop the black bar out from the screenshots, but the result was far from satisfying:

2014_06_12_15.48.42.png

Same with the phablet:

advancedtest.png

As a note, the Crop feature works just right when I applied it manually (when I selected a screenshot from the in-app gallery and crop it using the image editor).

Maybe you’ve also noticed that all screenshots featured in this app is potrait in orientation. Let’s see what would happen if we try to take a landscape screenshot (using the auto rotation feature on Android):

2014_06_19_19.50.08.png

2014_06_17_16.11.39.png

Whoops.

Conclusion

I think that Screenshot Ultimate is a great screenshot-taking app. It also has a minimalist built-in editor with many features. I don’t find this really useful, except if you need to annotate screenshots with text or drawings. Although this app is loaded with many features, there are clear and simple descriptions (as you can see on the first screenshot on this review) for almost every options on the app, and it makes clear

Although I haven’t try it on other phones, I think that this app is the best screenshot app you could get if your device is unrooted. It has 16 possible methods for taking a screenshot for an Android phone, and while I won’t say that this app will work on any unrooted devices, there’s a big chance that your (unrooted) device is supported.

If you’re just the type of person who take screenshots rarely and only take screenshots of – let’s say – a funny tweet you happened to read on the Twittter app (I’ve met someone who asked me how to use a screenshot-taking app for rooted phones only to do that), maybe you wouldn’t need this app, and you should search the internet for the buttons combination instead. Although taking screenshots with this app is much easier given that you could use various triggers, the built-in editor might be a bit overkill.

But, if you’re the type of person who take screenshots for technical reasons (to make a documentation, or to point out a bug/error, or to make reviews) and you do it frequently, this app would be really helpful, especially for the screenshot gallery and the auto adjustment feature.

The only problem I found in this app is its inability to create landscape screenshots and apply automatic cropping properly. Aside of those, everything works perfectly.

Pros:

  • Many trigger options
  • Many helpful explanations and dialogues throughout the app
  • Built-in image editor with useful features
  • Can apply adjustments automatically to every screenshots taken
  • Can change capture methods

Cons:

  • Doesn’t work on landscape mode
  • Cropping on auto adjustment doesn’t work

Note: This app has ads on the top (main menu), bottom (on the options) and the center (after taking a screenshot) of the screen, but they didn’t show on the screenshots because I don’t set my devices to connect to 3G networks. It’s a small price to pay for the free version.

Rating: 9.0/10

Download it from Play Store from here.

Now listening to Vivo Sonhando by Marcos Valle

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