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Annotated Screenshots for iOS Apps

DZone's Guide to

Annotated Screenshots for iOS Apps

· Java Zone ·
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So are you still being a good instructions-following developer and when you’re submitting your screenshots actually listening to Apple when they say:

Show the actual pixels of your app, using the full screen, without graphics or borders around the image…

Rather quaint when you look around at how many people casually disregard those instructions, isn’t that? Well, seems like we can pretty much start considering those instructions officially obsolete, as look who’s setting the pace (h/t: iOS Dev Weekly!):

With the introduction of the Apple Store for iPad app, Apple decided to go with annotated screenshots for on of their own apps for the first time. They did it in an interesting, and unusual way, by showing an image of an iPad running the app below a headline that explains the benefit or feature shown in each screenshot.

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So apparently the rules on both device images and annotations in your screenshots have achieved the status of Officially Disregarded. At least if you’re Apple, anyways. But hey, since everybody else is getting away with it, why not you too? (h/t: iosdevelopertips!)

Apple’s guidelines suggest using non-edited screenshots of your app, but by doing only this you’re really giving competing apps a big advantage. As we’ve seen already, App Store images don’t have to be plain old screenshots. Instead, you should think of them as a spot to advertise your app and its features.

I personally like to do one of two things; either include the device within the screenshot or actually photograph the app in use, similar to a lifestyle photo. Both of these options give extra space to describe and sell the features of an app…

If you want to go for what’s called the ‘lifestyle look’ in that article heck out iOS Templates’ photographs for your app-displaying convenience.

If you want to munge up shots yourself, here’s some tips.

Need some examples with more good ideas? Check out Designing App Store “screenshots” and How to Design App Store Screenshots that Sell.

Seen any other particularly creative uses of “screenshots” as little billboards? Let us know!

And just in case you missed this, soon as you get comfortable with the now apparently pretty much official lack of rules for “screenshots”, get ready for adding App Store video trailers to your necessary productions budget…

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