Tidying up iOS screenshots

If you’re an iOS developer, designer or journalist, chances are that your camera roll is littered with screenshots. Unlike Android, which puts screenshots into a separate album, iOS just dumps them into your camera roll. Worse still, screenshots will be added to photo stream, meaning my Apple TV screensaver usually includes a fun mix of holiday photos, UI inspiration and bugs I’ve captured.

There are a few apps out there that will help you import and tag screenshots, but until iOS 8 came out there was no way for these apps to delete screenshots. But with the new photo library APIs in iOS 8, 3rd party apps can now batch delete photos for you.

Here’s how I currently manage my screenshots

Step 1) Collect your screenshots

There are a few utilities that will detect and import screenshots for you:

Ember for iOS is worth a look if you also have a lot of OS X screenshots to manage, as it has a Mac companion app (although I had trouble getting the two to sync over iCloud – Dropbox seemed to work better). Ember has more advanced tagging, color detection and annotation features.


Screenshot Journal is iOS only, but looks great and works well. It will also automatically upload to Dropbox as well, so you can quickly access your screenshots from your Mac that way. More of a do one thing well utility than Ember’s more comprehensive approach.


However, neither of these utilities have been updated for iOS 8, so they don’t offer automatic screenshot deletion. Which brings us to step 2…
(Note: Jacob White, Screenshot Journal’s developer contacted me and let me know that he’s working on automatic deletion — I look forward to it!).

Step 2) Delete screenshots from camera roll

Sharkie is a fun little utility that will find and delete some or all your screenshots from your camera roll. It can also remind you to periodically tidy up your camera roll.


Coming soon?

Sharkie is a great little utility, but ideally I would like for just one single app to take care of tidying up my camera roll, so I look forward to seeing someone add that feature.

But for now, I’m just happy I don’t have to swipe past hundreds of screenshots to get to my holiday pics.