Homebrew screenshot tool for Windows Phone 7.5 (works for all phones)

Homebrew screenshot tool for Windows Phone 7.5

As first reported by WPCentral, An interesting homebrew app came out of the Chinese Windows Phone community recently that enables pro users to finally take screenshots in most areas of the OS.

Although Microsoft has their reasons to not provide a native method to take screenshots, the feature on iPhones has led to almost a monopoly of mobile auto correct-based memes. This homebrew tool now levels the playing field for Windows Phone 7.5 users too.

Contrary to the initial report that this requires an interop-unlocked phone, that is not the case. This tool is claimed to work on all phones according to the author and all it requires is a developer unlock. If you don’t have one, you shouldn’t have to wait too much longer for the $9 unlock through ChevronWP7 labs.

Unfortunately the developer included an interop flag by accident which prevents it from being universally deployable. I’ve fixed this by editing the manifest in the XAP and repackaging it. Download my edited XAP here. Go on, share all the Metro goodness.

Update: This tool works by Mango’s new scheduled task API. You set the number of seconds (approximate) to wait until it takes as screenshot. Click the button at the button to set and exit the application using the Start button. When the app takes a screenshot a notification will display and the image will be saved in “Saved images” library.

Update 2: The author has posted a new version 3.0 of the tool with even more features, fixing the interop services.

26 insightful thoughts

  1. I am just happy that this feature would finally come to Androids in ICS. I have never rooted my phone and this feature is something that should be native to all smartphone platforms.

    1. Windows Phone has baked in DRM. iOS/Android are missing DRM features, forcing folks to rely on their own implementations and deal with their own legal issues.

      With the platform differentiator here being “we handle DRM so you don’t have to”, Microsoft signed up to protect DRM content. So I believe to resolve the “people can rip content” issue, they gutted any screen recording/output capabilities. Reasonable for 1.0.

      This was probably way easier than implementing Protected Media Path in 1.0/1.5. It’s likely coming in Windows Phone OS vNext.

  2. OK, the app works as advertised, but it continues to take new pictures at regular intervals and send me a notification. I gave up after waking up at 2am and uninstalled it @_@

    Wierd. Anyway, I’ll keep the xap and redeploy it when I need it in the future.

    1. I believe it does that if you have mistakenly set it more times than needed. To clear all the agents, open the app without clicking on the button then exit.

  3. Long, the naming protocols in the app, all the screen captures have the same name, means only the first will sync to PC. Correct me if I’m wrong, it also seems that there is a constraint on the amount of shots that the phone will handle in a certain amount of time. Or to save the Temp files once finished, means leaving the app and the phone dormant for a while.

  4. Hello! :) Need help. That software isn’t working in my Lumia 610. It says ‘Doesn’t support this file’ when i was downloading it.

  5. Can anyone please tell me ,how this app works in background because windows phone 7.x doesnot allow the app to run in background

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