Screen Captures on Mobile Phones

Whether user experience designer, developer, or marketer, the time may come when you want to take a screen capture on a mobile device. For some mobile platforms, it's a cheap and/or easy affair. But for others, it's complicated and/or impossible. Rather than offering a comprehensive list, this guide highlights free or low cost applications organized by platform.

Apple iPhone and iPod Touch (v. 2.0)

  • Free: Hold the "Home" button, then press the "Power/Sleep" button. The screenshot will automatically appear in your photo gallery.
  • Older Unlocked Devices: Do a Google search and you can find a few utilities for jailbroken devices.

Symbian S60 Release 3 Devices

Free: We highly recommend the fantastic little screenshot utility from Anthony Pranata. If you use this product for work, please make a donation!

UIQ Devices

AutoCam: We have been very satisfied using AutoCam from CellPhoneSoft. AutoCam is available for both UIQ v.2 and v.3 devices. Price: $14.95

BlackBerry Devices

  • BBScreenShooter: an excellent and free utility that runs on Microsoft Windows PCs. It's complicated to set up and only works when the device is connected to your computer with a cable.
  • BBScreenStream: captures the current screen contents of the device in a video stream.

Windows Mobile Devices

Ilium Software Screen Capture: offers two free applications, one each for Windows Mobile Smartphone/Standard and PocketPC/Professional. The product can be a little tricky to use sometimes. There are also commercial (non-free alternatives), but we have relied on Ilium's free utilities in the past.

PalmOS Devices

LinkSOFT: offers a screen capture utility for Palm devices, but we haven't tried it yet. The price is a reasonable $15.

Motorola RAZR

Free: Most non-smartphones such as the RAZR don't support taking screenshots on the device due to technical limitations. However, if you're tech savvy, you might be able to follow the directions in the ModMyMoto forum to take a screenshot on your RAZR.

Nokia Internet Tablets (Maemo OS)

Load Applet: It's not a very exciting name, but this handy little app allows you to easily take screen captures, as well as offering a few other handy features. Load Applet supports multiple versions of Maemo: OS2006 and OS2008.

Java Apps & All Other Devices

Sorry, no information! Worse yet, it's probably not possible due to basic technical limitations common in most other phones. A good alternative for Java (J2ME) software is to install an emulator on your PC and take regular screenshots of the product running in the emulator.