Screenshot tools are handy, be they on computers, mobile devices, what have you. On the Zune you could take screenshots of games and apps by running them from Visual Studio, which was handy for developers who wanted to take pictures of their product rather than relying on a camera, which no matter how you try will never look as nice as a native screenshot. There was an app via OpenZDK for screenshots
as well, though it was a little on the advanced side as it required a few components working together to function. So what about WP7?
Recently a rather nice screenshot tool came out, actually. At first it was in Chinese and required an interop unlock
to work, but now it's been translated and requires only a dev unlock. What's that mean, you ask? Well, first off, a developer unlock is something given to developers and normally costs $99. A group called ChevronWP7
is working on a way to provide a dev unlock for much cheaper. An interop unlock is the next step of unlocking and allows you to run apps that use what's called "native code." Think of it like this: dev unlock is to XNA as interop unlock is to OpenZDK. The latter allows much more powerful programs to be written outside of the normal framework provided. That's the basics of it, though if you want to read more about those unlocks and the two other higher kinds as well, you can give this a look
But you came here to hear about the screenshot app, right? Well, here you go
. If you already have a dev unlock (lucky you), you can run that right now, or you can wait for ChevronWP7 to finish up, which should be soon. Operation of the app is actually pretty simple: you run the app, press the camera button to take a screenshot, and check back in the app whenever you're done to see the pictures you've taken. The whole app is styled after Metro so it looks native to the phone. The dev unlock requirement still puts it out of the hands of the average user, but with any luck Microsoft will implement the functionality in the future.
UPDATE: ChevronWP7 is now available