Screenshot Sharing with Droplr
It’s no secret that screenshot sharing has been a big request for Droplr. Even so much that we’ve had users already creating scripts and services to do it ;). We hear you! And believe us, we want it to … but we want it right.
Many apps similar to Droplr upload screenshots automatically. There’s even a few awesome services out there wholly devoted to this task. There was the great GrabUp and then the even cooler TinyGrab (and many more). Each of these services works by listening in the background for you to take a screenshot, and as soon as you do, it uploads that shot to a server and copies the URL to your clipboard so you can share it out. However, I’ve personally been really dissatisfied with the workflow of these types of apps.
The problem that I’ve always had with these services is that they don’t quite work the way I do. I take many screenshots per day, for many various reasons. But I don’t want to share every screenshot I take. The amount I want to share is a pretty low percentage, maybe about 1/3. So uploading every screenshot ends up with a bunch of files I never intended to share on a server somewhere. Not to mention some of them I might wanted to have been private, meaning I either have to turn the app off before hand or go delete it from the server.
I think we’ve found a workflow for Droplr that solves this problem pretty well.
Most of the time when I’m taking a screenshot, I know the purpose of it beforehand. I’m either taking a screenshot to use for my own purposes, in which I want the file on my desktop so I can then load it into Photoshop or import it into an app like LittleSnapper. On the other hand, if I’m taking a screenshot for the purpose of sharing with someone, I usually don’t have a need for the file itself and trash it right after it has been successfully uploaded. Which in itself is often an annoying task, that all these screenshots litter my desktop when I never needed the file.
So for Droplr what we’re doing is enabling a different shortcut key combination, separate from the main Droplr shortcut, to initiate a screenshot for sharing. It will be the standard screenshot behaviour you get with OS X with cmd+shft+4 which gives you a crosshair for you to select the area you want to capture. In this mode you can either capture your whole screen or just a small section of the screen. You can also use the spacebar to trigger “Window” mode which will allow you to capture objects in OS X such as windows, menus, icons, etc… (and you even get a spiffy icon from NeXTSTEP to do it). After you’ve made the selection we’ll upload the screenshot right to Droplr and give you the standard behavior of the link & popup. The advantage of course being that the file never litters your system.
We believe this will work well in separating screenshot behaviour into the user’s intent, 1, for their own use and 2, for sharing. We’ll be pushing this out as a small part of our next update to the app. Beta testers, please be ready to test it out and provide feedback on how it’s working for you on http://talk.droplr.com.