Marco Arment releases Bugshot for iOS, small app to quickly callout glitches of any size

Marco Arment, creator of Instapaper and The Magazine, has just released Bugshot for the iPhone and iPad. It's a small, highly focused app that lets you quickly, easy mark up images with arrows and boxes. The intended purpose is to take screenshots and callout graphical glitches, typos, and any other visible errors, and then report them back to the developer and/or designer so they can get fixed. Here's how Arment describes is on

Bugshot’s sole purpose is dealing with those screenshots better: being a home for them, making it easier to find them (rather than browsing your entire Camera Roll, interspersed with photos), and making it fast and easy to draw big orange annotations on them so it’s clear what needs attention.

In a double dose of irony, the Bugshot icon is itself the result of an early Core Graphics glitch, and the grid Arment superimposes on screenshots doesn't properly fill the screen in landscape mode. The former isn't going anywhere, but the latter will be fixed in the upcoming Bugshot 1.0.1 update.

Using Bugshot is straightforward. On launch, it accesses the camera roll and ingests all the screenshots you've taken on your iPhone or iPad, and it'll actively monitor for new ones and add them while the app is running as well (in case you want to Bugshot the Bugshot). Scrolling performance in the photo picker still seems a bit rough, and there's no status bar (or emulation, Twitterrific 5-style) to tap to get taken back to the top. However, the way it shows landscape screenshots in landscape is clever.

Tap the screenshot you want to annotate and it zooms up to fill the screen, including a delightful rotation if its in a different orientation. An iOS 7-style menu bar sits on top that you can use to cancel out, switch between arrow and box drawing modes, and share. You can show or hide it with a tap. When it's shown, a clever grid overlay covers the screenshot so, if you get distracted and come back, you won't mistakenly think you're looking at the actual app and not just a sceenshot. While the screenshot zooms in to fill the screen, if you cancel out it doesn't zoom back to its place on the image grid. It zooms generically back out to the center of the screen and fades away. It's a small thing, but it breaks the symmetry of the animation and the spatiality of the app, especially considering it's otherwise spot-on iOS 7 look and feel. That might be too much work to implement on the current iOS 6 version, however.

Once you have your screenshot, just tap and drag to draw arrows and boxes to your heart's - or bug's - content. You can touch, hold, and move arrows and boxes around. It's non-destructive for as long as you're still working on an image, so you can layer elements one on top of the other and later un-layer them. However, you can't rotate or scale them. Once an element is drawn, it's done, though you can double-tap to delete it and start over. Also, bigger arrows and boxes come with thicker heads and lines, so if you want to connect something across the screen, you're getting a fat element, not just a long one. At smaller sizes this type of scaling makes a ton of sense. At larger sizes, locking the thickness and simply extending the shape might work better lest they blot out the screen.

Bugshot screens

There's no ability to add text to the markup yet, which is a traditional feature in apps like Bugshot. Hopefully that gets added in the future, but in the meantime you can add a note to the email or message you send with the bugshot.

Speaking of which, when you're done marking up the screenshot, tap the action button to send the final image by Mail, Messages, Twitter, or Facebook, or save it to the Camera Roll, assign it to a Contact, Copy it to the clipboard, or Print it.

That's it. In, (mark)up, out. Like Napkin for OS X and Skitch, the utility of Bugshot is in its speed.

Thanks to its look, Bugshot feels right at home on iOS 7 already (and performs, perhaps, even better there than it does on older versions). So if you're working on a new app or update, or helping beta test one, Bugshot could come in really handy. Hell, if you have any picture you want to quickly, easily add orange/red arrows and boxes to, Bugshot should be your go to (insert your own celebrity candid jokes here).

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.